New church media service to be established

 The Bishops' Conference have agreed to set up a new Catholic Communications Service. This will bring together the work of the Catholic Media Office, (press office) the Catholic Communications Centre (media training and monitoring) and the media functions of the Archbishop of Westminster's Public Affairs Office. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth will lead a small working party in response to an independent report on the Church's communications needs and requirements. Bishop Hollis said: 'Catholic communicators have long felt the need for a single office to bring together the Church's media work in order to serve better both the Church and the media. Communications are evolving rapidly at the start of the 21st century, and the Church must be committed to keeping apace with developments for the sake of communicating the gospel.' The working party will consult further and report to the Standing Committee of the Bishops' Conference in June, with proposals for the operation of the new Catholic Communications Service and the position of its director, which will then be advertised widely. It is intended that the new Service will be operational by 1 October 2001. The independent communications review was requested by the bishops at their November 2000 meeting, and undertaken by James Moir (controller, BBC Radio 2) and Angela Salt (former director of communications, Millennium Commission). Source: CMO