The Church of England has hailed the success of its Christmas Tweeting campaign, with tweets on Christmas sermons peaking at one every 10 seconds.
The campaign, the first of its kind, invited parishioners and clergy to tweet about the meaning of Christmas as part of the Christmas Starts With Christ campaign.
Spearheaded by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, as well as the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, almost 9,000 tweets were posted using the special hashtag.
The peak time for tweets was at 11am on Christmas Day, with a smaller peak at 11pm on Christmas Eve.
The Church’s spokesman, the Rev Arun Arora, said: “This was the first time the Church of England has adopted Twitter for a Christmas initiative and we are delighted with the results.
“Christmas is one of those times when the Church is at its best, proclaiming with joy and song the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. To see so many people communicating the joy of Christmas with a shared message of #ChristmasStartsWithChrist was a cause for rejoicing.”
Taken over a 24 hour period from 11pm on Christmas Eve to 11am on Christmas Day these figures represent an average of 370 tweets per hour, sic per minute or one every 10 seconds.
The cumulative reach for the 8,878 tweets using the hashtags was 9.6 million Twitter users.
In addition to sermons from the UK, tweets were also sent from services in churches as far away as Brisbane, South India and Basel.
The success of the campaign has now led the Church to investigate the potential for using Twitter for the forthcoming Lent season.