Email – a blessing and a potential danger!
We depend on email to schedule appointments, share documents and information and stay connected with various individuals and groups within the parish and beyond.
Email can help us communicate, work more effectively and efficiently. However, email does have its dangers and as a faith community we have a responsibility to make sure that we use this form of communication to build community.
“As a faith community we recognise that:
We need to remember that email is not necessarily confidential. When we send an email it can easily be forwarded on to others. We need to ask ourselves before hitting the send button, “Would I feel comfortable if this email was forwarded to someone else – even if it was accidentally forwarded.” If the answer is “no” then don’t send it.
Think carefully before forwarding an email, as to whether the author of the original email would be comfortable with us doing this.
Before pressing the send button we will be careful to re-read the email message. We will not “vent”. An unfortunate “vent” can instantly land in many inboxes.
Email is not to be used as a means of communicating negative or hurtful comments to clergy or parishioners. When these situations arise we will talk and have a face-to-face conversation.
Many parishioners belong to an email group, e.g. Parish Council, Sanctuary Team, flower arrangers, etc. We will not send group emails that will undermine decisions, complain about individuals or stir up discontent.
When we send emails to a group we will make sure the subject relates to that particular group. For instance, it is inappropriate to send a group email to advertise a particular restaurant.
We will be careful not to share parishioners’ email addresses without their consent.
Our inboxes get submerged with emails – when we respond to an email, do we need to “reply all” or just reply to the sender?”
This email policy was approved by Parish Council in 2010. The policy has been helpful for me when it comes to the seemingly enormous amount of email correspondence that I deal with on a daily basis.