This website receives over 13 million page views annually and is one of the Church’s most popular online resources, particularly in the last 72 hours before Christmas Day. This is why we’ve put it live just ahead of the launch of our #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas campaign.
We shared a survey earlier this year where nearly 2,000 people provided thoughts on how the site could be improved. This blog explains in more detail the results of the insights, which formed the basis of the strategy for re-developing the site in a short space of time.
Working with The Developer Society, a leading not-for-profit digital agency, we’ve added lots of new features to A Church Near You, including a new look and feel, with a significantly improved mobile experience. The site follows the same design principles of the new Church of England website.
How can your church prepare for Christmas?
Here are three steps we would like you to follow when you visit the new A Church Near You to get your church ready for Advent and Christmas:
- Ensure the information listed about your church is correct by finding your page and logging in. Your existing username and password will work but if you have forgotten it you can reset it.
Check the data for any mistakes and if you spot anything wrong with the data that you can’t edit, you can report an issue by going to 'More information' and clicking the ‘Report an issue’ button.
There are also new features for events, services and facilities.
- Add your Advent and Christmas services and events – or update yours if you have already done so with the new tags. This year, we’re hoping to help even more people come to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus by joining in our #GodWithUs campaign. Many churches have already updated their calendar to include the Advent and Christmas services, but if you’re yet to add yours, you can do so now by following these instructions. You can also add events that take place in different locations.
- Check your profile picture and cover photo. The profile picture you supplied for your church on the old ACNY has been moved over. If you did not previously have an image, we have use one supplied by Google Maps. A new feature that has just launched is an option to upload a cover picture. This is the perfect place to feature photos of your congregation – perhaps an image showing the inside of your church during a busy service, or group photo.
Remember, existing log in details have been carried over to the new website.
How do I raise support issues?
If you have a question, please go to our FAQs page and follow the instructions.
As with any new website, it’s likely that an odd of bug may have crept into the system. Do use the details above to help flag them.
What’s coming in 2018?
In the New Year, we will be continuing to develop A Church Near You, to make it simpler for you as editors to make changes, and to improve the experience of the thousands of people who are searching for a Church of England church. All of these developments will be based on your feedback. Until then, do get in touch if you have any comments on questions about the new A Church Near You.
The work of the new Digital Communications team is part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.