Bishop praises first Norfolk digital award winners

Network Norwich & Norfolk celebrated its 10th anniversary and held its Christian digital communicati

Network Norwich & Norfolk celebrated its 10th anniversary and held its Christian digital communication awards. Picture Kevin Gotts - Credit: Archant

The winners of the first ever Norfolk Christian Digital Communications Awards were announced in a ceremony at Norwich Central Baptist Church attended by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

The Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James was guest speaker at the Christian digital communicati

The Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James was guest speaker at the Christian digital communication awards. Picture: Kevin Gotts - Credit: Archant

They include Norwich Foodbank, the Magdalene Group, St Thomas Norwich, Lighthouse Community Church and blogger Joy Lenton.

Bishop Graham, who is the Church of England lead spokesman on media issues, told the 90-strong audience: 'We are not here to praise digital media for its own sake. We are here to give thanks for this new medium in which the timeless message of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection can be communicated in our own day. We have new opportunities and it is wonderful that in Norfolk these are being seized. We have much to celebrate tonight.'

St Thomas Norwich was a double winner with its website taking the Best Large Church Website title with highly commended entries from Proclaimers and Holy Trinity Norwich. The St Thomas' team also won the Most Innovative Use of Digital Media class with its John Lewis parody Christmas video Tommy the Tiger which has been viewed online more than 50,000 times. Runners-up were We Are the Chorus and Soul Circus.

The Best Small Church Website category was won by Lighthouse Community Church, Sheringham with Highly Commended entries from Norwich Vineyard and Eternity Churches.

Best Use of Social Media winner was Norwich Foodbank with its very active Twitter and Facebook accounts. Runners-up were Aylsham Parish Church and the Twitter account of the Matthew Project.

The Best Christian Organisation Website accolade went to the Magdalene Group. Highly commended in this category were Fountain Network and Letton Hall.

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The Best Blog winner was Words of Joy from Joy Lenton. Highly commended were Nigel Tuffnell, Kung Fu Preacher Man, and Andrew Bryant, With the Collar Off.

Network Norfolk publisher, Keith Morris, said: 'We staged the awards to help recognise, reward and encourage good Christian digital communications across Norfolk. The event also helped us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Network Norwich and Norfolk website.

'We had 108 entries, from which our judges selected the best 36 as finalists. We then put them out to a public vote and the response was overwhelming, with more than 1,200 different people contributing over 2,400 votes.

'Our finalists all demonstrated innovation, creativity and inspiration in their digital offerings and are often created by people working away behind the scenes.

'The winners had something extra special that stood out to the public who voted for them.'