Monday, 13 May 2013

‘An erudite and impressive blog ... An engaging page’

Receiving one of two prizes in the Communications Competition from the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, at this year’s General Synod (Photograph: Lynn Glanville, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

This blog and my Facebook page both received prizes in the Church Of Ireland Communications Competition at the General Synod in Armagh this year [2013]. The prizes were announced by Bishop Trevor Williams of Limerick and Killaloe, and presented by Archbishop Richard Clarke of Armagh.

The competition was organised by the Church of Ireland Press Office but was judged externally by media professionals working in the field of church communications. In the areas of blogs and social media, the competition was looking to see how churches, church organisations and members engaged with the huge developments in social networking, and the organisers said “communications activity continues to increase markedly in these areas.”

In the “Blogs” Category, this blog was “Highly Commended.” The judges described this Blog in these words: “An erudite and impressive blog, both in terms of the scope and the frequency of posts. Lots of thought has gone into this blog and its shows. Extremely detailed. Excellent use of photos. Easy-to-use archives and search engine. Well done.”

First Place went to the Revd Chris Bennett Down and Dromore for his blog, http://www.the-dock-org The judges said: “A wonderful, innovative example of how social media can be used in a church context. An attractive, thought–provoking and enticing blog. Fantastic use of video and images. User–friendly and welcoming. Keep going!”

The Runner Up was the Revd Stanley Monkhouse for his blog: The judges said: “An engaging and compelling blog voice on theology and everyday life. Cultivates readership. Good use of photos. Consistency in form and style. User–friendly archiving. Great job!”

In the “Social Media” Category, my Facebook page was Runner–Up. The judges said of my Facebook page: “An engaging page. Patrick Comerford’s outreach on social media is admirable. He shares his theological and cultural knowledge in a way that is accessible to others, and this is reflected by his social media following.”

First Place went to Facebook Page of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The judges described it: “A fantastic Facebook page. Informative: not only of Cathedral’s events but also of Cathedral’s history. Outstanding photography. The strength of this page is also reflected in the number of ‘Likes’ it has received so far.”

The Twitter Stream of Saint Werburgh’s Church, Dublin, was “Highly commended.” The judges said: “An excellent example of how to use Twitter. St Werburgh’s Church Twitter stream shows a high level of engagement with others (through retweets; tweets to others and the number of people the church follows) as well as informing others of the church’s events, offering reflections and engaging with current affairs. A good number of followers too.”

In his Presidential address at the General Synod on Thursday [9 May 2013], Archbishop Richard Clarke said: “Much of the actual delivering of the Gospel is effected at what we tend to call ‘local level’, in the work, worship and witness of local communities – clergy and people collaborating and working together – this is very true of church communications work too and the competition demonstrates how entrants put enormous effort into communicating effectively within their own contexts.”

The judges praised the submissions in each category, with clear evidence of communication work of a very high standard reaching right across the island.

The full list of prize-winners is:

Parish magazines/newsletters:

• First prize: Union Focus (Naas Union of Parishes)
• Runner Up: Rossory News

Diocesan magazines:

• First Prize: N:Vision (Derry and Raphoe)
• Runner-Up: Connections (Connor)
• Highly Commended: Newslink (Limerick and Killaloe)

‘Other’ organisations Printed Publications:

• First place: Friends News (Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin)
• Joint Runners Up: Links (Mothers’ Union, Dublin and Glendalough) and Focus (All Ireland Mothers’ Union)

Parish Websites:

• First place: Lisburn Cathedral (Connor)
• Runner Up: Booterstown and Carysfort Parish (Dublin)
• Highly Commended: Saint Augustine’s Parish (Derry)

Diocesan websites:

• First place: Derry and Raphoe
• Runner Up: Down and Dromore
• Highly Commended: Down and Dromore Youth and Children

‘Other’ affiliated organisations websites:

• First place: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin)
• Runner Up: The Dock (Belfast)

Social Media:

First Place: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Facebook Page
Runner–up: Canon Patrick Comerford’s Facebook Page
Highly commended: St Werburgh’s Church, Dublin Twitter Stream


First Place: Revd Chris Bennett (Down and Dromore)
Runner Up: Revd W Stanley Monkhouse
Highly Commended: Canon Patrick Comerford

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