Bishop's Weekly Video Message hits double-century!

Published on: 15th May 2024

A little over 4 years ago, a month into the first lockdown, and as the reality of closed churches was setting in around the country, a brand-new bishop was about to be installed in the Diocese of Hereford. On 20th March, 2020, the Rt Rev’d Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford, issued a 4-minute YouTube video, as a way of introducing himself, with the line, “Hello everyone, this is going to be the first of a weekly video I’m going to send out while the Corona virus crisis continues.“  The surprise is that now, four years later, the videos are still going strong. In fact, the bishop issues his 200th video message this Thursday (16th May). Admittedly, viewership is down from those heady days of lockdown, when he pulled audiences of 1,700 or more. But the Bishop’s Weekly Message is still the most popular social media content from the diocese and still garners over 15,000 views annually.


Back in 2020, besides the obvious need to introduce the bishop to the diocese, the diocesan comms team saw this as a way to open up a weekly communications channel for people and clergy across the diocese, when they were unable to connect in person through their local church. It became a vital tool for disseminating important pandemic-related instructions from the national church and authorities. As restrictions eased, the videos persisted, but the focus shifted to communicating the bishop’s new priorities for the diocese: to be prayerful, Christ-like and engaged.


With help from the team, Bishop Richard quickly learned how to film himself, using an iPad with an auto-cue app on a tri-pod and a microphone. He has filmed himself in the snow at a conference in Switzerland, on holiday in France, from General Synod and, when restrictions eased, the comms team went the extra mile, helping to film him on the River Wye in an old rowing boat that he found in the garage at the Bishop’s Palace.


Says Bishop Richard, “I wasn’t completely convinced of the benefits and wasn’t sure if anyone would want to watch a Bishop each week.  However, I have since come to value the opportunity as part of my ministry to the diocese and it’s given me a space to reach people beyond our churches.  I’m aware that my parents who live in France watch it each week along with friends and family in America.


You can re-watch the Bishop's first weekly video here.

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