Comms head for diocese

The Archbishop of Canterbury's diocese has appointed its first director of communications.

Emily Shepherd will join the Diocese of Canterbury next January, leaving her current job of director of operations at the Martha Trust, where she has worked for three-and-a-half years. Before that she was employed by the NSPCC.

Shepherd will be responsible for external and internal comms for the diocese and the archbishop, and will work closely with Rowan Williams' press office at Church House, led by Peter Crumpler.

Shepherd said that part of her role would be to show that Christianity is 'alive and well'.

The archbishop has had a number of PR issues to contend with this year. Three high-profile bishops boycotted the Lambeth Conference over Williams' decision to allow pro-gay figures from the US to attend. Williams also grabbed headlines with his now notorious Sharia law speech in February.

When she starts her new role, Shepherd will be responsible for building a communications team. Internal comms presents a particular challenge: there are 288 parishes in the diocese, each with its own vicar.

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