Overnight the Twurch of England Web site briefly became a promotional for British Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow, Robert Halfon. DNS redirect strangeness, we are told. And fixed.
Earlier, however, It is as The Church Mouse (creator of the site) explained, it was a service which "allows you to follow the conversation in real time" of CofE "Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy on twitter." Using twitter's list capabilities, as you see at right. (No laity, and that's something of an issue, as you will see below.)
The Mouse offers monthly rankings of the Top 20 twittering bishops and clergy in the CofE from the Twurch of England. The site offers a convenient widget. There is other useful information there. All very nice indeed.
The Twurch of England is the Church of England on Twitter. The bishops, the clergy, and the… hang on… it’s only the bishops and the clergy! The laity (ordinary people) are nowhere to be found. This is an unjust state of affairs which sends out the message that the ordinary people are not as important as the bishops and clergy. Being mildly deeply upset about this I started a ‘Reform the Twurch’ campaign yesterday – you can read all of the tweets on the subject via the hashtag #reformthetwurch. It was great fun and a most creative protest. Proceedings were conducted calmly and peacefully, and from time to time nuns came out and brought us tea.
. . .
My challenges to Twurch administrators (The Church Moose and Peter O) are as follows:
1) First of all I think you really need to include CofE laity if you are to go on calling it the Twurch of England. It’s OK, there aren’t many of us and we’re declining in number all the time.
2) Secondly, I understand that you may want to restrict membership of the Twurch of England to members of the Church of England. However, if you don’t find a way to include the wider groups of people (Anglicans, UK Christians) in some way I suspect someone else will. There is an opportunity for a creative individual to form the Anglican Twitter community or the Christian Twitter community, and sooner or later someone will do so.
Commenter Ann Fontaine at The Lead at Episcopal Cafe summed up with:
Love Tweeting clergy - twergy-- from the comments. Are there also twishops? but what kind of church has no laity? oh right a dead one.
And see to restoration of the former site? We do hope so.