CofE comms director Arun Arora steps down to become vicar

Church of England comms director Arun Arora has stepped down to become a vicar again - and has told PRWeek that seeing the church make a major investment in digital comms was a key moment in his tenure.

It was announced in December that Arora would move to become the vicar of St Nicholas Church in Durham, with the bishop of the city saying it would represent a "return to familiar territory" for Arora, who was ordained as a minister in 2007.

Arora officially stepped down on Friday 7 April. He has been replaced on an interim basis by deputy director of comms Rachel Harden and head of financial comms Mark Arena.

Arora was appointed to the role in 2012, having been priest team leader at Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries for two years prior to this. He was also director of comms for the Archbishop of York John Sentamu between 2006 and 2009, his LinkedIn profile states.

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The self-confessed "Jesus freak" said he was "delighted" to be leaving behind a comms team "with a calibre that had not previously been present in church communications".

Arora told PRWeek: "My hope is that the comms team will sustain and develop a culture of confidence and appropriate risk taking for communicating the Gospel and the work of the Church of England."

Asked to describe the defining moment of his tenure, Arora pointed to a 2015 CofE advert that he said "went viral" after it was banned in cinemas. 

Despite the church initially being "bewildered" by the ban, the ad was viewed over five million times, Arora said, which led to the organisation investing a "significant" amount in digital comms.

In his profile in the 2017 PRWeek UK Power Book, Arora said he regretted not spending more time in prayer.

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