Church tackles digital divide

The Church of Scotland is totally switched on and committed to tackling the digital divide.

The digital divide is the gap between those in society who have access to and the resources to regularly use new technology including the internet, social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and those who are unable to.

*The term can also apply to people who have the knowledge to use the new technology and those who do not.

It can exist between different areas of the country, different social classes and on a global scale between more and less industrially developed nations. “It is important and challenging for the Church of Scotland to bridge this gap, as the changing way we communicate with each other presents new challenges in communicating the work of the church and of spreading the gospel.”

That was the view of Donald Campbell, Convener of the Panel on Review and Reform when he presented their annual report to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Mr Campbell drew comparison between how rapidly society changed in the Victorian age with the invention of the railway and the way digital technology is changing society today. Both inventions have radically altered the way that people think and behave.

“The church recognises the impact of digital technology on a rapidly changing society and the Church of Scotland as a national Church working throughout Scotland seeks to express the gospel in terms that are relevant to this new digital age.”

The General Assembly agreed to invite their colleagues in the Church and Society Council to monitor the Scottish and UK Government’s progress towards a fully integrated digital society and report back with any issues or concerns.

It also agreed to receive two reports back next May at the 2014 General Assembly on strategies for promoting mission in the digital age and to explore the wider theological and sociological issues raised by these new media.