Wanted: Anglican SocMedia Expert

I found out something that rather took me aback when preparing the following tweet:

Most of us are aware that, for some time now, there has been a Twitter account associated with the papacy, namely @Pontifex, just as there is an account for the American President (@POTUS – and in fact @FLOTUS for the First Lady as well).

Turns out, though, that there is no such account for the Archbishop of Canterbury! (For those of you not in the know, he’s precisely the “pope” of the Church of England – that is, the highest official of all, other than God Himself, subordinate to no other mere mortal ever since Henry VIII took the Anglican Church out of Catholicism back in the 16th century.)

Now, it’s true that there is an account for the current Archbishop of Canterbury, namely @justinwelby. And as you can imagine, he’s been tweeting up a storm today in response to the suicide-bomber attack last night at the Manchester pop-concert.

But again, that’s only for The Most Reverend Archbishop Welby himself, not for the office. The way things work in the Anglican Church, apparently, being top-archbishop is not for life – the last one, Rowan Williams, was in office for ten years and then retired, for example. So eventually The Most (Current) Reverend will presumably also leave office, taking his Twitter with him, and how can we be sure that the next Most Reverend will bring along his own account? Make it a prerequisite for the job? Somehow that just doesn’t seem appropriate.

Meanwhile, to take the other example, Donald Trump has the freedom to alternate between his personal and his official Twitter accounts as he sees fit. As for the Pope, there is only the official @Pontifex account, and not any personal one (which does seem appropriate!). If only out of religious marketing considerations vis-à-vis the Catholics, you’d think the Anglicans would snap-to – and pronto – and come up with an Archbishop of Canterbury Twitter account. They’re easy enough to make, after all – all you need is an email address.

Well, wait a second, there’s the matter of the specific name; by the mid-2017 of the Christian Era we are in now, you can be sure that all the good ones are taken. I tried a little research on this point; the Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, is famously known as primus inter pares or “first among equals” among his fellow Anglican bishops. So I thought “OK, how about @primus?” only to immediately realize that that one was long-gone since there is a band by that name and, sure enough (and good for them!), they are definitely in possession of @primus. Then I also saw that the Archbishop is one of the “Lords Spiritual” of the House of Lords, so why not @LordSpiritual? Sadly, @Lordspiritual was snapped up back in 2012 by some guy with 6 (count ’em!) followers, who last unleashed a tweet back in March, 2013.

Perhaps The Most Reverend might prevail on this guy to give up the Twitter-handle, all for the benefit of his immortal soul? Or he could instead go for @lord_spiritual – that one’s still available! Move fast, Most Reverend!

BTW while the Archbishop’s office lacks one, there is a Twitter-account for his cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, which goes by @No1Cathedral! I kid you not! Apparently Christian modesty is allowed to lapse when applied to stone-and mortar. So far today the Cathedral itself has tweeted but once about the Manchester attack.

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