The Church of England is to launch a new communications strategy in
a bid to manage its public image. The new policy is in the process of
being approved by the Church’s governing body, the General Synod, and is
being steered by the Rev Dr Bill Beaver, its director of
Beaver’s plans will provide communications support at local, national
and international levels and include appointing members of the clergy as
official spokespeople on controversial religious issues.
The initiative comes at a time when the Church’s image has been further
brought into question by newspaper reports of a leaked memorandum
presented by Pete Broadbent, Archdeacon of Northolt, at the Synod’s
policy committee last December, which urged the Church to adopt a spin
doctor to ensure a better image.
Archdeacon Broadbent told PR Week: ’We get incredibly negative coverage
in the press because we’re boring, so journalists looking for good
stories go around the margins and find scandal. We need a spindoctor to
cultivate journalists and point them towards the exciting things that
are happening in the Church.’
Beaver said: ’The Church is not looking for a spin doctor because we’re
into consistent, coherent, constructive communications, not
We have a new communications strategy through which we will manage our
debate intelligently; it addresses the concerns Archdeacon Broadbent is
Bernard Ingham, p3.