By Anna Morrell, Church in Wales
A vicar who is a keen convert to social media, plans to use the full force of the internet to reach out to young people in his new parish.
Revd Roger Pitman who creates websites, writes blogs and tweets in his spare time, will be licensed as priest-in-charge of the parish of Llangeinor and the Garw Valley tomorrow (TUES) by the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne. His appointment follows the retirement of Revd David Mortmore.
Roger comes to the area from Llanharry, where he served as priest-in-charge and part-time chaplain to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital for five years. But moving to the Garw valley will be something of a home-coming for him as he grew up just on the other side of the mountain, in the Afan valley.
“It’s a beautiful area,” says Roger, who has already created a Facebook page and website for his new parish. “But I am aware of the challenges people there face. Churches and chapels have closed over the years and the sense of Christian community has suffered. Fortunately, the church buildings left are now in good order so I will be able to focus on growing the congregations and reaching out to the whole community to show how the simple Gospel message interacts in daily life.
“A key way for us to do that is by embracing social media. These days, your website says as much about you as your church building. If it’s up-to-date, easily accessible, regularly visited and packed with useful information, people are more likely to be interested and keen to return. And I think it’s very important people find it as easy to interact with the church as they do with everything else in modern life.”
Roger will be coming to Llangeinor with his wife, Kim. The couple have three grown-up children and two grandchildren. As well as building websites, Roger is a keen mechanic and rebuilds Classic Land Rovers in his spare time.
Bishop David says, “Roger is a very sensitive and sympathetic priest, who knows the Llangeinor and the Garw Valley area well. Friendly and family-orientated, in recent months Roger has helped out in the Cowbridge benefice in addition to his duties at Llanharry, where his pastoral ministry has been deeply appreciated. His abilities at social networking, as well as hobbies such as car maintenance and restoration will enable him to make links with all sectors of the community.”
Roger will be licensed by Bishop David at St Ceinwyr’s Church this evening, July 31, at 7.30pm. All are welcome.
You can visit the parish website at www.lgvparish.org or go to lgvparish on Facebook or follow Roger on Twitter @revrogerpitman.