Falkirk appoints country’s first digital minister

The Very Rev. Albert Bogle
The Very Rev. Albert Bogle

A former Moderator of the General Assembly has become the Church of Scotland’s first digital minister.

Very Rev. Albert Bogle will use his new role to create an online Kirk congregation made up of people who may never set foot in a church.

The church estimates that only 20 out of 1300 congregations stream their services online, but Rev. Bogle is aiming to vastly increase the number of parishes using social media.

Mr Bogle, whose weekly Sanctuary First podcast on faith has a global audience, was officially welcomed into his new role by Falkirk Presbytery last Wednesday at Trinity Church.

The 69-year-old from Bo’ness, who was Moderator in 2012-13, said: “This role is about getting online worshippers to attend church and also to support those who have no intention to go on a Sunday.

“There is a growing Christian audience online who seek quality content to nurture their faith.

“My role is about helping to provide an online community for those who have left the buildings and committee structures far behind but not the church.”

Mr Bogle, who stood down from St Andrew’s Parish Church in Bo’ness in 2015, believes ministers should be equipped with digital media skills.

He added that there was “a God-shaped blank in all of our lives” and recognised that many people were seeking spiritual fulfilment online.

In 2014, Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, challenged the Kirk to find 100,000 new members by 2025 through online platforms.