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Church is challenged to take its cue from digital switch-off.

The new Director of the Churches’ Media Council Andrew Graystone has challenged the church to match the government’s timetable for digital switch-over.  Speaking as the programme for this year’s Churches’ Media Conference was announced he said “Many church leaders are blissfully unaware that there is a revolution underway that’s every bit as radical as the invention of the printing press.  Five years from now we will either have learnt to minister in a digital environment, or we will be its victims.  Analogue churches won’t survive in a digital age.”

The Government has announced that analogue TV will be switched off in stages, starting in 2008 and ending in 2012.  Andrew Graystone wants churches to adopt a similar time-table.  “For a church, going digital means recognising that most people spend many hours a day using a computer.  It means acknowledging the important place that gaming, surfing and blogging play in many people’s lives.  It means learning to use contemporary communications tools like email and podcasting, rather than photocopying the weekly newssheet.  It means developing a language and a mindset – even a theology – that embraces digital culture.”

This year’s Churches’ Media Conference will have its eye on the future – exploring how the digital revolution will impact the Christian church, and what room will be left for faith in the new media landscape. 

The conference is entitled A Future and a Hope, and there will be keynote sessions on society, technology, and the future shape of belief in the UK. 

Speakers include Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan, commercial radio alchemist Mark Browning and leading futurologist Patrick Dixon.  It promises to be a unique opportunity for media professionals and faith leaders to engage in lively debate about the challenge of the digital future.

The conference will take place from Monday 11th – Wednesday 13th June 2007 at the Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire. 

All the details, including the booking form, can be found at

Or you can call the Churches Media Council on 0845 6520027.

Andrew Graystone became Director of the Churches’ Media Council in 2006.  A former Head of Development at BBC Religion, he is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4. 

The Churches’ Media Council is made up of representatives of 20 denominations in Britain and Ireland.  It seeks to be a bridge between the Christian community and the media.  For more information call 07772 710090 or visit

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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