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Canon Hilary of Halifax Minster learns from the BBC, ITV and NHS in Lent journey

First published on: 12th April 2023

As we celebrate Easter, Revd Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax Minster, has reflected on his Lent journey, which this year took him into the heart of public discourse.

For several years, Canon Hilary has taken Lent as an opportunity to spend a day a week in the shoes of others and this year he focussed on Media and Communications, spending time with ITV Calendar, BBC Radio Leeds, the Diocesan Communication Team, and with the NHS.

Calendar’s senior news presenter Ian White hosted him for a day to show how television news is generated and delivered, punctuating the day across Yorkshire.

BBC Radio Leeds weekend breakfast host Andrew Edwards demonstrated the significant difference between continuous broadcasting on radio, rather than producing bulletins through the day for television.

Hilary joined the Diocesan Communications Team the day before the announcement from 10 Downing Street of the new Bishop of Huddersfield all fell into place and saw first hand the planning of press releases, locations, media attendance, and quotations ready for release to both regional and national media.

Congregation member at Halifax Minster Reg Wilhelm, Communications Adviser to the NHS across the north, saw Hilary gain a better understanding of the communication to the workforce within the institution of the NHS and the complexities of the largest employer across the nation.

Reflecting on his Lent experiences, Canon Hilary said: This has been about informing my preaching and writing, locating my own ministry in the incarnate God, who is already at work in the ordinary lives of every day men and woman in their places of work.

“The Easter Gospel is about the good news to be found in Jesus Christ, and with the digital age upon us, now is the moment to develop those media networks and improve the way we communicate our Christian values and beliefs.”   

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