Pioneer Minister in line for two top social media awards

A Cumbrian curate has been shortlisted for two top social media awards to be presented at a London ceremony.

The Rev'd Robin Ham and familyThe Rev’d Robin Ham was ordained Deacon in June and serves as a Pioneer Minister in the Barrow Deanery.

Now Robin, aged 30, has learned he has been nominated in two categories at the Premier Digital Awards 2015: Blogger of the Year and Tweeter of the Year.

Robin said: “It’s great to get shortlisted. I’d been aware of the awards for the last few years, so this news comes as a motivation to keep on with the writing!

“I take it as an encouragement to think that people have felt what I have written has been useful to them in some way.

“I started blogging to help me process my own thoughts, as well as sharing stuff I’ve found helpful. It’s a bit like an online moleskin notepad, combined with a magpie’s nest. Some of us can just think things through in our heads, but others of us have to write or speak to do that processing. I’m in the latter category!

“I’ll write from a Christian point of view about different things; it could be something in the Bible which I’m chewing over, or just trying to make sense of the ups and downs of life with God, or even reflecting on something I’ve just seen on TV.”

Robin first started blogging in 2006 while studying theology at Durham University. He later moved content to his current website address www.thathappycertainty.com.

Recent blogs include reflections on the ‘burden of service’ Christians can feel as well as how to enjoy a wi-fi free holiday.

“Social media can so easily be about self-promotion,” Robin said. “We can all struggle with that. But ultimately what I’m trying to do is make much of Jesus Christ and show how knowing Him makes sense of life.

“I believe Christianity is good news, not just good advice. Blogging is just another way of communicating that message. Younger generations are much likely to pull out their iPhone and read a blog or a tweet than to read a book.

“In that sense it’s an opportunity to engage people who have a faith, but perhaps aren’t committed to a church, as well as giving an opportunity to those who are interested in exploring the Christian faith afresh.”

More than 800 entries were received by Premier Digital Media for the awards on the evening of Saturday 14 November.

Robin is up against five other shortlisted entries for Blogger of the Year and five others in the Tweeter of the Year category under his username @rhamage.

Robin Ham's Twitter profile picture“I’ve had a Twitter account since 2011,” he added. “People can use Twitter in so many different ways. It’s a tool. You’ll get some people who share a lot of quotes, others who link a lot. Then there’s the stereotype of people sharing what they had for breakfast.”

“But the fact so many people use it shows it’s become part of the rhythm of people’s lives.

“So I try and be myself. Whether it be sharing something I’ve been encouraged by, or something funny, or just asking a question.”

Robin came to Barrow after training at Oak Hill Theological College, before which he’d spent three years ministering amongst students and young adults in Cheltenham, and two years working for a church in London.

Earlier this year he self-published an eBook on social media called ‘Filtered Grace: Seeing Goodness, Desire and Meaning in the world of Instagram,’ freely available on the download website ‘Noisetrade.com’.

He is married to Zoe and they have a daughter Evie, who is nearly two, and six-month-old son Hudson.

Notes:
For more on the forthcoming Premier Digital Awards Ceremony visit http://www.premierdigital.org.uk/Premier-Digital-Awards/Shortlist.

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For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.