St Wilfrid’s Church Social Media Policy





“Social Media” is the term commonly given to web-based tools which allow users to interact with each other in some way – by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests online.


To avoid mistakes which could result in reputational, legal and ethical issues, this policy aims to manage potential risks to St Wilfrid’s Church and the York Oratory in Formation.


This policy applies to the Fathers and Brothers, Voluntary Workers and Paid Employees. These are hereafter referred to as Church Workers




This policy aims to provide information concerning the use of any social media application, and to help Church Workers get the best out of the tools available whilst maintaining a safe professional environment and protecting themselves, as well as St Wilfrid’s.



Definition of social media


For the purposes of these guidelines, social media is a type of interactive online media that allows parties to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum. This includes e-mail, online social forums, blogs, video- and image-sharing websites and similar facilities.


Church Workers should be aware that there are many more examples of social media than can be listed here and this is a constantly changing area. These guidelines should be followed in relation to any social media that they use.



Use of social media


This policy applies wherever Church Workers use the Social Media and their relationship with St Wilfrid’s Church is publicly known.


Church Workers must be aware at all times that, when contributing to social media activities and their relationship to St Wilfrid’s is known, they are representing St Wilfrid’s.


Any communications that Church Workers make through social media must not:


Š      give away confidential information about an individual or this or any other organisation;


Š      publish any material that would not meet the Middesbrough Diocesan Guidelines for Safeguarding of Young People and Vulnerable Adults;


Š      do anything that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, for example by


o   making offensive or derogatory comments relating to (but not confined to) sex, race (including nationality), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age or;

o   using social media to bully another;

o   posting images that are discriminatory or offensive or links to such content or;

o   bringing St Wilfrid’s  into disrepute, for example by:


§  criticising others or arguing with others online or;

§  making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups;

§  posting images that are inappropriate or links to inappropriate content or;

breaching copyright, for example by using someone else's images or written content without permission or failing to give acknowledgement where permission has been given to reproduce something.



Excessive use of social media at work


Church Workers are allowed to make reasonable and appropriate use of social media websites from St Wilfrid’s computers or devices, provided that this does not interfere with their duties.


Church Workers should not spend an excessive amount of time using social media websites and should ensure that use of social media does not interfere with their other duties. Work for St Wilfrid’s will take priority over personal use of social media sites.



Social media in your personal life


St Wilfrid’s recognises that Church Workers make use of social media in a personal capacity. While they are not acting on behalf of the St Wilfrid’s, our Church Workers must be aware that they can damage St Wilfrid’s if their connection to the parish and community is recognised and known.





The fast changing nature of information technology, particularly in relation to electronic communication incorporating aspects such as Social Media, means that these guidelines should be reviewed on an annual basis.



St Wilfrid’s York