Some reflections on our most silly season and what lies ahead for us

Jo Duckles

Jo Duckles

First published in News by

FOR anyone working in media the summer is both an opportunity to reflect and a potentially frustrating time.

It’s aptly named ‘silly season’ simply because everything slows down. Schools finish, regular clubs and events stop, even the church I go to changes the pattern of its weekly services.

Once the July/August edition goes to press in June, I have a much-needed four-week period when I can catch up on other jobs and start to plan ahead for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean I can put my feet up.

It usually means I catch up on what’s happening in the communications world, looking at the latest in social media, technology and the news and how this can help churches in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

And it’s really important as 2014 is an important year for the Diocese of Oxford.

We’ve had several events already in the Imagining Faith series of conferences and activities, with the most exciting – the Grand Day Out at Christ Church, Oxford – yet to come, on September 20.

This will be the chance for people to say goodbye to the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, to enjoy fantastic worship and to hear great and diverse speakers, from Mary Berry from the Great British Bake-Off to David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation. There’s the Living the Difference café where you can learn how you can make a contribution to changing the world for the better and hear an awesome new Christian band, The Vine.

To find our more of the plans as they evolve follow @OxfordDiocese and #grandayout or see the Oxford Diocese’s Facebook Page.

Talking of social media, I use Hootsuite, an electronic internet dashboard, to Tweet and Facebook each day’s entry from the prayer diary that is run in the centrespread of every month’s Door. It encourages everyone in the area to pray for a specific aspect in the life of the Diocese every day.

I do the same for every story I run in The Door and on our website (oxford.anglican.org) and I get responses from people all over the world.

As I write this I’m already planning the next few months’ editions of the Door.

There will be coverage of the Grand Day out and the exciting new Thames Pilgrim Way, to be launched in September. Bishop John will be walking through the new pilgrimage route, starting from Radcot on Thursday, September 18 and ending in Runnymede on Sunday, September 28.

It’s going to mean the end of summer, but the start of autumn is going to be an exciting time for the diocese, with all of these events.

Time for Creation, an Autumn of Opportunities will run from September 1 to October 4, when churches are encouraged to celebrate our role in creation and as stewards of it. This will include everything from climate change campaigning to celebrating agriculture.

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