Social Media Policy

Holy Trinity Church Seer Green and Jordans

Social Media Policy

                          Approved by the PCC on 22 February 2021

The principles of this Social Media Policy apply to clergy, PCC members, volunteers, and also applies to others communicating with the church. The policy applies to all online and mobile platforms for sharing content and information, whether controlled by Holy Trinity or hosted by others, on which members of the Holy Trinity community engage in discussions or activities relating to Holy Trinity Church Seer Green and Jordans. The term “social media” refers to:

  • Church website
  • social networking services 
  • short-message services
  • Facebook and other social networking sites
  • Twitter and other micro blogging sites
  • YouTube and other video clips and podcast sites
  • Blogs and discussion forums
  • message boards
  • image- and video-sharing sites 
  • other methods for real-time information sharing among users. 

Because this is a constantly evolving area, this policy applies to all new social media platforms whether or not they are specifically mentioned in this policy. 

Social media may be used to:

  • Distribute agendas, post minutes and dates of meetings, pew sheets, parish magazines 
  • Links to Holy Trinity and Diocesan services 
  • Advertise events and activities
  • Good news stories linked to website or press releases
  • Re-tweet or share information from partner agencies such as the Diocese.
  • Announcing new information 
  • Post or Share information from other parish related community groups such as schools, community groups and charities. 

 

Core Values

Members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) are expected to uphold, as their code of conduct, the following core values. They should use their best judgement and take the most thoughtful and prudent action possible, bearing in mind Holy Trinity’s need to preserve accountability for the use of its name in all social media and the core values of this policy:

 • Be selective – there are a variety of digital platforms available. Use the right medium for your message –social network might not be the right place for messages intended only for a small group, and email or other more targeted media might be best. 

• Be responsible – social media are individual interactions, not official parish communications. Members of the Holy Trinity community are personally responsible for the content they publish. Personal opinion should never be presented as that of the church and content should never be posted that is contrary to the decisions of the church.  Official statements of parish policy may only be made by the Pastor or designee. 

• Be smart – a community post is often visible to the entire world, and can be shared by others in ways that you cannot control. Remember that what you write is public, and will remain public for a very long time (perhaps permanently). Be respectful to our community.

 • Be identified – authenticity and transparency are driving forces behind social media. Use real identities to the greatest extent possible rather than anonymous posts and comments or the use of false names or pseudonyms. 

• Respect the privacy of others – do not publish the personal information of others in the community without their permission or, in the case of children, written permission of their parents. This is particularly important as some parents do not wish their children’s personal information and images to be shared online. 

• Be respectful – Holy Trinity is a thoughtful and prayerful community that encourages free expression and values civil debate. If you disagree with others, do so with civility. Respect your audience, express your views with appropriate language, and be respectful of the Church and its teachings. Do not use another individual’s name unless you have permission to do so. Never post controversial or potentially inflammatory remarks. 

• Be trustworthy – respect the confidentiality of matters that are shared with you in confidence, or that are meant to be kept confidential by the nature of your work, ministry or volunteer mission. 

Use of Official Name and Logo

Any use of the Holy Trinity Church Seer Green and Jordans name or logo for branding or titling pages, or other similar elements of social media must be approved in writing prior to use. Requests for prior consent to use such names or logos should be made to the Vicar or churchwardens. Permission to use the name or logo of the parish may be revoked at any time in the sole discretion of Holy Trinity. 

Individual Judgment 

Even when engaging in social media for personal use, the comments of a member of the Holy Trinity community may be viewed as a reflection on Holy Trinity. Users should use their best judgment when engaging in social media activities and should be on guard against actions and discussions that could harm the interests of our community. 

Transparency 

Users’ social media communications are made in their personal capacity and not on behalf of Holy Trinity. Statements made by members of the Holy Trinity community should not be taken as expressing the formal position of Holy Trinity unless the speaker is specifically authorized to do so by the Vicar or the Vicar’s appointed designee. 

Copyright Laws 

Users must comply fully with copyright law when posting and uploading materials. Any posting of materials to official Holy Trinity social media must be limited to materials in which the copyright is owned by the party seeking to post the information, or in which the owner has consented to the sharing of the materials. Images and other materials from the Holy Trinity parish shall not be copied and uploaded to other forums without the prior written consent of the Vicar or churchwardens. 

Obeying the Law

Users must not post any information that may be deemed libelous, constitutes bullying or harassment, brings the church into disrepute, uses offensive language relating to race, sexuality, disability, gender, age, religion or belief, or participates in any online activity that violates laws/regulations or that constitutes a criminal offence, including through content posted in a personal capacity.   The administrators of the official Holy Trinity social media reserve the right to remove any posts that are deemed unacceptable.

Privacy

All users of social media within the Holy Trinity community should take care to safeguard the privacy interests of other community members. In particular, personal information (that is, information that can reasonably identify a particular person, including name, phone number, address or email address) should not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the person identified. In cases where a user has consented to the publication of such information, appropriate privacy settings and levels should be utilized. 

Children 

Any site operated by Holy Trinity that is directed toward children and young adults should be designed to limit access to authorized members, and leaders of such sites should take steps to ensure that unauthorized users will not have access to the site (by use of password protection or similar methods, if available). Registration for such a site must require the use of a legal name and valid contact information, such as an operational email address. Users of such a site may not post images of children without the prior consent of a parent or legal guardian of any minor depicted. 

If You See It, Say It

Any use of social media that does not comply with this policy should be brought to the attention of the Vicar, Safeguarding Officer or churchwardens. 

Questions and Updates 

This policy may be updated and modified at any time, and at least annually. Users will be apprised of changes in this policy by our posting this policy on the Holy Trinity website.