An Anglican church in Kent has decided to recruit a full-time journalist in a bid to keep local and church-based news alive during the coronavirus pandemic. St Margaret’s Church in Rainham said it is hiring a salaried Community Journalist because "for thousands of years, it is story telling which has kept communities together."
The new opportunity comes as local papers struggle to survive the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 crisis, which has resulted in a dramatic fall in advertising opportunities. In response, the vicar of St Margaret's, Nathan Warn, told Christian Today that he wanted to "step into this gap and employ a Community Journalist – an appointment which I believe is revolutionary."
In its job posting, the church wrote: "Now, more than ever before we need someone like you to tell our stories so that we might stay together even when physically we are apart.
"Whether it’s telling the story of the local fish shop, how the restaurant owners are coping whilst shut or the history behind ‘The Oast’ House and what it’s doing now – we want a multi skilled, qualified journalist to join our staff team as soon as possible.
"Half of the stories you produce will focus on the local community – its people and groups, schools and new housing. The other half will focus on telling the story of the church, its people, purpose and history.
"You’ll also take a lead on all of our digital content including overseeing the live streaming of our services. We believe this is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference in a local community through serious journalism."
Ward added that the role was created in response to a community survey "which revealed that people wanted local news as a way of dealing with the lockdown."
The role pays £20,000 per annum, with interviews taking place on the 29th June.