INTERNATIONAL: Episcopalians to hire first comms director

WASHINGTON: The Episcopal Church is attempting to revitalise its image by hiring its first-ever director of communications.

WASHINGTON: The Episcopal Church is attempting to revitalise its

image by hiring its first-ever director of communications.



The successful candidate - who, according to the church’s web page, must

be prepared to ’develop a clear and coherent image of the Episcopal

Church in the public media’ - will be immediately forced to confront

some thorny challenges.



’Like many mainline Protestant churches, (the Episcopal Church) has been

losing members,’ said John Green, director of the Bliss Institute for

Applied Politics at the University of Akron. The church numbered 3.5

million baptised members in 1970 but only 2.3 million active baptised

members two years ago.



Green suggested that the church has been under pressure from within.



Some Episcopalians, particularly younger members, have become more

secular, while older members are more conservative and dissatisfied with

the church’s socially liberal tendencies. In particular, gay rights -

especially as it relates to the clergy - has become a major issue. The

appointment marks a sharp contrast with the UK, where one church press

officer recently discounted modern communications methods as ’inherently

dishonest’ (PR Week, 25 February).



The new director of communications will report directly to presiding

bishop Griswold and be installed as a member of the church’s management

team.



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