Bishops launch new media committee

 It was announced this afternoon that the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has launched a new committee - to give advice on strategic communications. The Strategic Communications Committee (SCC) is intended, in particular, to support the Director of the Catholic Communications Service on communications policy and its implementation. The Committee - which replaces the Bishops' Conference's Media Committee - is chaired by Bishop Crispian Hollis, Bishop of the Diocese of Portsmouth and chairman of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales' Department of Mission and Unity. Fr Wilfrid McGreal is vice-chairman and Catholic Communications Service administrator Maureen O'Grady has been appointed committee secretary. The SCC held its inaugural meeting at the Bishops' Conference's headquarters at Eccleston Square, London, last Tuesday, October 29. Members include Bishop Kieran Conry, the former director of the Catholic Media Office who is now Bishop of Arundel and Brighton; James Moir, Controller of BBC Radio 2; publisher Nigel Newton, of Bloomsbury; Maggie Roux, senior lecturer in media at Trinity and All Saints College, University of Leeds, and Timothy Livesey, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's Principal Adviser on Public Affairs. Mgr Andrew Summersgill, the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and Mark Morley, Director of the Catholic Communications Service, are permanent ex-officio members of the committee. The Diocesan Communications Officers and Diocesan Newspaper Editors are also to be represented. Bishop Hollis said: "I was delighted to preside over the first meeting of the new Strategic Communications Committee, and we spent a very profitable time beginning to explore some of the important issues which face the Church in today's media culture. "The Strategic Communications Committee is the latest implementation of the communications review that was undertaken two years ago by James Moir and Angela Salt. We plan to hold four meetings in the coming year and I look forward very much to working with the committee for the benefit of the Church in England and Wales." He added: "A particular concern of ours is to support as fully as we can the newly-formed Catholic Communications Service." Mgr Summersgill said: "Bringing together the committee means the review, begun two years ago, is now complete. I look forward to working with it to help give direction to the good work begun already by the CCS." Mark Morley said: "This committee is a clear sign of the Church's recognition of the need for a developed and co-ordinated media and communications strategy. I look forward to working closely with these talented and accomplished individuals drawn from the widest possible range of media and communications." source: CCS

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