Baptist Voice: growing digital presence
A Baptist audio ministry is hoping to reach a wider audience for its monthly programme via iTunes and podcasts
Baptist Voice features a mix of Baptist news – drawn from The Baptist Times, Baptists Together magazine and BMS World Mission publications – hymns, prayers and reflection.
It began life as Baptist Tapes for the Blind, and every month the Baptist Voice team sends tapes and cds to its subscribers who are blind, partially sighted or simply unable to go to church.
But in recent months it has been increasingly growing its online presence: it is now possible to listen to each broadcast on http://www.baptistvoice.co.uk/, and since the turn of the year Baptist Voice has been available as a free podcast on iTunes.
Around 60 people are now tuning in each month via the website, and already 12 have signed up for the podcast.
Baptist Voice co-ordinator Ralph Birtwistle believes there are many across the Baptist movement who could benefit from the programme.
‘Most of the tape/CD users are elderly,’ he said, ‘but I know many people with a visual handicap now use the internet, taking advantage of all the gizmos that are available to help them.
‘That's why I'm pushing for a more prominent presence on the internet. I refuse to believe that the 70 or so tape/CD users are the only people in our churches with a visual handicap. We would love to reach many more.
‘So if you know anyone who might benefit from this monthly mix of Baptist news, prayer and reflection, please direct them to our site or download the podcast for them.
‘And of course, the heart of what we do still remains: anybody who wishes to receive a cd or tape, we will send free of charge.’
Ralph, who has many years experience in BBC local radio, produced his first edition as co-ordinator last February. A member of Greenfield Baptist and Congregational Church in Urmston, he took over following the retirements of co-ordinators Geoff Pratt and Gilbert Payne of Abingdon Baptist Church.
Visit http://www.baptistvoice.co.uk/ for programmes and more details.
Contact The Baptist Voice at Greenfield Church, Primrose Avenue, Urmston, MANCHESTER, M41 0TY or ring 0161 613 5426 and leave a message.