THE Archbishop of York is among several senior bishops who are set to tweet their Christmas Day sermons for the first time this year.

Dr John Sentamu (johnsentamu), the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams (lambethpalace), and Archbishop Designate Justin Welby (bishopofdurham) will also be joined by congregations and clergy from across the Church of England (cofe).

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, churchgoers are being encouraged to live tweet the joy and meaning of Christmas.

Rev Arun Arora (RevArun), director of communications at the Archbishops Council, said: "It is the first time that the joy and excitement of Christmas will have been broadcast widely on Twitter. There are large numbers of social media enthusiasts to be found in pews and pulpits across the country.

"This is an invitation for them to join together to celebrate the joy of the Christ Child coming into the world, taking the real meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience. Churches from all denominations will be invited to broadcast their services via Twitter."

A Twitter spokesperson said: "It is fantastic to see the Church of England embracing Twitter and using it to share their Christmas message with new audiences." The campaign will use the hashtage #ChristmasStartsWithChrist, which goes live on Christmas Eve.

Tweets can be expected from carol, crib and midnight services, before carrying on into Christmas morning when the highlights of the sermons at York Minster, Canterbury Cathedral and Durham Cathedral will be tweeted.