Diocese of Exeter

Premier research reveals C of E bishop that tweets the most

Mon 14 Aug 2017
By Premier Journalist

The Church of England may be hundreds of years old, but its bishops are adjusting to the demands of the 21st century by using social media to communicate with thousands of followers.

Research by Premier set out to find the bishop that’s the most active on Twitter. 

The investigation revealed that Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton, tweets more often than any other bishop with an average 165 tweets sent every month.  Despite joining Twitter just 18 months ago, the suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Exeter has sent almost 3,000 tweets.

When Premier told Bishop Sarah she came out on top, she was shocked.

She said: “I’m very surprised; I have to say I don’t use Twitter that much compared to the vast population that’s out there. Maybe that says something about the other bishops than me.”

When asked her reason for joining the millions of Twitter users Bishop Sarah told Premier one of the reasons are for evangelism.

She said: “We’re called to proclaim the gospel in every generation and that means we need to know how to speak to people today.

“Twitter is a way of communicating the good news of the gospel to a whole series of people who may not encounter church.”


Her other reasons are to promote good stories about what’s going on in churches in Devon and to communicate with people across the area.

The type of content she tweets vary from having sponges thrown at her at school fetes to prayers.


Bishop Sarah told Premier she always thinks twice before tweeting, retweeting and commenting.

She said: “Anything I put out in the public domain has to reflect on not just me, but on the Church of England and also on the Gospel. I know that it is as a bishop I’m doing it so I’m very careful about what I put out.”

Of 110 bishops surveyed, almost two in five bishops don’t have a Twitter account.

Here is a list of the top five up in terms of the average amount of tweets posted monthly.

  1. Rt Rev Sarah Mullally Bishop of Crediton- 165 tweets
  2. Rt Rev Nick Baines Bishop of Leeds.- 135 tweets
  3. Rt Rev Christine Hardman Bishop of Newcastle  – 110 tweets
  4. Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell Bishop of Chelmsford  – 105 tweets
  5. Rt Rev Paul Bayes Bishop of Liverpool   – 104 tweets

Bishop Nick does take the crown (or mitre) for the most tweets sent, with over 13,800 since joining the social networking service in 2009.

The current acting Bishop of London, Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, who was briefly suspended from the Church of England after commenting on the engagement of Prince William on social media, doesn’t feature in the top five but has published an impressive 6,745 messages in his tweeting career.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is, unsurprisingly, the most followed bishop on Twitter with 110,000 followers, but only sends an average of 42 tweets a month.

Listen to Jeff Buckeridge speaking with Bishop Sarah here:


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