THE Church of England in Lancashire is embracing social media in a bid to reach a wider audience.

For the first time the latest edition of its Diocesan Directory contains QR code links for smartphones to online resources such as the Diocese website and online versions of the content contained in the Directory.

There is also a QR code link to the Diocese’s new YouTube channel which has been running for a few months.

Several churches are also getting in on the act, with St Mary Magdalene's Church in Clitheroe offering wifi, and St Leonard's in Langho even providing a ‘social media hub’.

The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, has also given his backing to a new ‘prayer app’ initiative launced recently by the Church of England.

He said: “This directory provides an invaluable resource for better and more efficient communication within the Anglican family in Lancashire.

“That sense of being a family and a team is crucial for our encouragement in the work of witness and evangelism to which as a church we have been called.

“Feeling isolated and alone in ministry will hamper our enthusiasm, whereas a sense of belonging to the wider family of the Diocese will give us confidence and fellowship.”

The Bishop is also about to embark on a new phase of his learning about the area he now represents, with a tour that will eventually see him meet with every member of the parish clergy in the county.