Yesterday someone thanked me

In this Church House Blog, Stephen Freeman, Design and Communications Officer and "avid user of techno gadgetry" offers his thoughts on communication following a recent conversation with a member of the clergy.

26 June 2020

By Stephen Freeman, Design and Communications Officer



I’m the Design and Communications Officer for the Diocese of Chester and have numerous conversations each day where I thank people and others thank me. Sometimes I thank people and others thank me when they or I haven’t really done anything, but I guess that’s the British way.

During the COVID-19 crisis I’ve been thanked by numerous people for helping them to navigate through some unchartered waters, such as how to use Facebook and Twitter to engage with their parishioners; how to stream a sermon over the internet or edit and upload a video to YouTube.

During some of my recent conversations I’ve been struck by how some people are apologetic for not being very “tech-savvy”. Well, don’t be.

People communicate in different ways. We have strengths in different areas. I’ve met many a person who wouldn’t know the top end of an iPad from the bottom, but when it comes to talking to people personally, they do face-time better than anyone.

Back to my headline – so yesterday, I was contacted by a member of the clergy who kind of epitomises what I believe many others are also going through. They wanted my guidance in creating a video, as a substitute for an actual ‘normal-times’ meeting between individuals. I sensed that she was a little reticent about going down this route, not because she’s not the most ‘tech-savvy’ (by her own admission), but because deep-down she knew that a video just wouldn’t work as a substitute for the type of soul-searching meetings she normally organizes. I echoed her thought process and agreed with her. And then she said: “Thank You.”  I did nothing really, apart from point out what she already knew. The people she wanted to meet wouldn’t benefit from a video. The solution was to do nothing, for the time being at least.

My advice to those who might be feeling a bit guilty about not being a social media champion or video blogger is, just remember that you have communication skills that have nothing to do with technology, and for that, I thank you.


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