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Katy Campbell

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Are You There God? It's Me, PR...

Posted: 21/11/2012 23:00

Over the last few weeks it's been a struggle for me to pick up the morning papers, as the headlines have been pretty dire. I refuse to glance at my fellow commuters' Metro or City AM for fear that my mood will have depleted by the time I make it to the office.

Today however, I failed. I glimpsed briefly at the passenger next to me's paper 'Rejection of women bishops a "very grim day" for the Church of England' it read. This is when it dawned on me - God needs PR.

Let's have a look at the church. It is viewed as an archaic and obsolete religious body, with opinions that date back centuries. With time comes changes, and this is something that the church, and God, have failed to appreciate. As the Church of England (C of E) reaches boiling point, it is perhaps the time to step in and say "Are you there, God? It's me, PR."

The church is now facing, and I quote: "One of the worst crises in living memory". The C of E had one day to alleviate theological sexism. It could have been the greatest PR campaign this generation would have seen. In 2007, a report on 'Churchgoing in the UK' identified that 15% go to church at least once a month. One would assume that in the last five years that number has dropped dramatically. Surely, with numbers like these the church would want to fight for future congregations?

The C of E's website indicates that one million people in the UK participate in a service every Sunday. That's one million out of a population of 62,641,000. If anything ever said crisis management before, it's those figures. The church and God desperately need a make-over; what they need is a positive PR campaign.

After three decades of campaigning, six votes overturned the legislation that would have let women bishops into the C of E. It makes little to no sense why any public body, especially one like the church, would ever want to appear sexist. What this vote has done has alienated women, discouraged females from joining the church, and kept the church's image as a primitive religious institution.

Earlier this month the world heaved a sigh of relief when Obama was reinstated as the President of the United States. Recently, UK chancellor George Osborne commented that it is time for the Tories to be more liberal on social views such gay marriage. Many Tories appreciate that a majority of Obama's win was by proving his liberal views on social matters.

Mr Osborne picked up on this, and encourages Tories to be pro-gay marriage. Of course this makes Britons happy, as the majority of the population are behind this opinion, with a few dragging their feet in the dark ages. This is what would be called 'good PR'. It strengthens the Conservatives at a time where political parties are fighting for votes on a daily basis.

So what did the C of E do? They got vocal. On their website it states that: "The Church of England is committed to the traditional understanding of the institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman" which was followed further down with: "The Church of England will continue to argue against changing the definition of marriage, which has supported society for so long." They have also made their opinions known to the prime minister David Cameron as well as the press.

I'm not saying that the C of E must change their views to fit in with society, but the Church must begin to realise that over the next decade their numbers will diminish, and that God as an omnipotent being no longer holds the strength that his name once carried.

To me, everything is PR. Now is the time that the C of E must revaluate its PR campaign to figure out how it will bring women, gays, and future generations back to the Church after it has spent 2012 eradicating all hope of modernisation.

 

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