Viewpoint from Keith Morris for 16th January
Corporate Communications Manager for regional media group Archant
Editor of www.networknorfolk.co.uk /www.networkyarmouth.co.uk
Trustee of Norwich Vineyard Church
A journey through cyberspace
It felt just like being Time Lord Dr Who in the recent Christmas episode. Walking down a dark back alley and entering through an old wooden door, just like the Tardis, I instantly travelled back in timeas a whole new Victorian world just opened up in front of me.
Through the door was a popcorn seller and a ring master ushering us up an old brick staircase, surrounded by Victorian pictures and signs, towards our seats in the upper circle.
As I entered the auditorium, along with my wife and two sceptical teenage children, we were instantly entranced by the strobing lights, the dry ice, the music and the showmanship.
For the next two hours we were bowled over by the trapeze artists, swimmers, jugglers, fire-eaters and clowns.
It was, of course, the unique and world-renowned Hippodrome Circus in Yarmouth and, I am ashamed to say, our very first visit after almost 20 years in Norfolk.
For me though, the stars of the show were the gravity defying stunt acrobats of the Kenyan Chiefs troupe.
They did not say a word, but communicated volumes with each other, and with us, through their wide smiles and their piercing eyes. Perfect timing and teamwork abounded in everything from human pyramids and exceptional skipping routines to a near impossible limbo dance under a flaming stick.
Listening, looking and paying close attention to those around them was key to a successful and entertaining routine.
Those same skills apply equally in my own field as a journalist and editor. They also apply to salesmen, doctors and any number of other professions.
It is said you should listen twice as much as you talk and, personally, I think that is an underestimate. James (1:19) tells us to be quick to listen but slow to speak.
As a writer, the skill is first in listening carefully to the story being told to you and the second is then presenting it to your readers in a way which is clear, concise and complete, whether on paper or on a website.
This is the philosophy behind the successful Christian community websites www.networkyarmouth.co.uk and www.networknorwich.co.uk and also behind the newly-launched www.networknorfolk.co.uk site.
We can learn such a lot from each other: from what we do, the way we do it, the mistakes that we make and the successes that we have.
The websites aim to help the local Christian community communicate more effectively and make connections both within itself and with the wider society in which it exists, in ways just not possible before the advent of the world-wide web.
Breaking down barriers, making new connections across denominational boundaries and helping to make churches more accessible to those currently outside them. These things are all made so much easier by employing modern forms of electronic communication.
Connections can be made across the street or right across the world just as easily, all in a matter of seconds.
A powerful means of communicating the message of the Christian faith has been placed into our laps. Let’s grasp the opportunity with both hands.
To find out more visit www.networknorfolk.co.uk