Cathedral Online & Social Media Policy

Online activities, social media and virtual worship are becoming a normal part of everyday life. Christ Church Cathedral is committed to ensuring the safety of these activities for those participating.

February 2024

This document will be reviewed, revised (as required) and approved as part of the Cathedral’s annual review process
VersionDateReviewed byApproved byDate of next review
V 1Feb 2022N/ASRH, ChapterFeb 2023
V 2Feb 2023MD, SAWChapterFeb 2024
V 3Feb 2024MD, SAWChapterMay 2024

How to participate well online and in virtual spaces

This good practice guidance has been compiled to help clergy, staff, volunteers, and members of the public visiting and accessing Christ Church Cathedral’s online activities. 

For many the internet has become a primary source for gaining information and networking with friends and acquaintances. Used responsibly social media and the internet can be of benefit: providing the opportunity for networking; getting to know people; gaining and sharing information about Cathedral events; learning about the Christian Faith; and spreading the Gospel. 

Online activity and posting on Cathedral social media should be consistent with Christian values and you are responsible for the things you post or say. 

As well as the many opportunities that social media activities provide, users should be aware of the associated risks. 

The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained at all times. If a child or adult is in immediate danger, risk of harm, or requires medical attention call the emergency services on 999. Do not delay.

1. Safety online is everyone’s responsibility

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they and others are safe online. People should participate online in the same way as they would in any other public forum.

2. Protect yourself

Remember that online spaces are public spaces. You cannot always tell who you are talking to and not everybody is engaging in good faith. Anything you post publicly can be seen by a large number of people, and anything you post online may be saved by other users of social media.

It is therefore important to protect your safety, privacy and well-being whilst online:

  1. Do not post personal information (address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address) in public online spaces, even if people ask for it. You should not share this information with anyone you do not know well.
  2. Consider what people see when you are using video online. Dress appropriately, blur your background and remove anything that might disclose personal information about you such as your location or family pictures.
  3. Think carefully before contacting people privately, or meeting someone in person whom you have only met online, and be aware that people are not always who they claim to be.

3. Report inappropriate behaviour

  1. When you are using video calls make sure that other people in the room with you are aware of the online rules on keeping safe. If you have children make sure that they are aware that you are online or turn off your camera if they come into the room.
  2. Act immediately if you think someone is at risk:
    • Recognise: Identify any issues and keep yourself safe. 
    • Respond: Remember how you can keep yourself and others safe.
    • Record: If you are not happy with something or see something that concerns you make a note of everything so that you have the information when you report it.
    • Refer: Tell a member of the Cathedral Safeguarding Team or the host representing the Cathedral what you are concerned about. Remember if someone is in immediate danger contact the emergencies services. Do not delay. Inform the Chapter Safeguarding Officer or a Safeguarding Lead.

4. Avoid confrontation

  1. Remember that you can always log out of a chat room or activity to avoid unwelcome situations.
  2. Do not hesitate to block people you do not want to interact with. This can be done at any time.
  3. In moderated online spaces report people breaking the rules to the moderator immediately.

5. Take responsibility for your words and actions

  1. You are accountable for what you do, say, and write. Text, images, and video shared online can be public and permanent. If you’re not sure, don’t post it.
  2. Be respectful and be kind. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful.
  3. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post. If you would not say it aloud in a public place where you are known, you should not post it online.
  4. Cathedral staff are reminded to abide by the Christ Church Social Media Policy 2019 as employees of the joint Foundation.

6. Respect other people

  1. Do not take screenshots or capture images of other people who you can see online without permission from the organiser or the person concerned.
  2. Respect copyright and always give credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information about something or someone else and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.
  3. Treat others how you would wish to be treated. If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use. Remember that tone is difficult to convey in text form.
  4. Disagree well. Some conversations can be places of robust disagreement and it’s important we apply our values in the way we express them.

7. How Christ Church Cathedral will respond to people who breach our online and social media guidelines?

  1. Christ Church Cathedral may act if they receive complaints about individuals or spot inappropriate, unsuitable, or offensive material posted to public social media accounts.
  2. This may include deleting comments, blocking users, or reporting comments as appropriate.
  3. Anyone acting illegally and breaking the law will be reported to the Police.

Christ Church Cathedral’s Chapter Safeguarding Officer is Canon Sally Welch and its Safeguarding Lead, Matthew Dickins. If you have a safeguarding concern, contact the Police on 999 if there is a risk of immediate harm, otherwise please email