As part of the ongoing digital transformation of the Church of England, the new website of the Church will better support those who lead and go to church and crucially engage occasional visitors and those who are open to Christianity across the country.
The relaunched website is crucial to the digital strategy of the Church which has recently seen more than one million people being reached every month with the Christian message on social media.
The five major changes visitors will see from today are:
- Our faith that explains Christianity in an engaging way, with new videos to provide direct and moving testimonials.
- Faith in action films that bring to life the missional work of the Church.
- Prayer and worship, including liturgical and prayer resources. Prayer will feature at the heart of the website with the day’s Collect now far more visible.
- A new Life events section better explaining baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals as well as vocations.
- Simple navigation, an improved search engine, improved website accessibility, hundreds of new photos, a mobile first and clean design.
The relaunch follows extensive research with approximately 1,800 Christians and non-Christians across the country including focus groups in Carlisle, Blackburn, Birmingham and London. Targeted national online surveys through social media were used as were website analytics and heatmapping to reveal how users were previously interacting with the content.
William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, said: “The transformed website sits at the heart of the Church’s Renewal & Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places. I’m delighted that colleagues across the Church of England have worked at pace to deliver this major project that will help all of our audiences make the most of the new website.”
Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said: “Dioceses and churches across the country will benefit from this significantly improved and simplified website. It aims to help Christians grow in their faith and attract others to it. The ‘Our faith’ and ‘Faith in action’ sections provide inspiring and engaging material and stories about the transforming power of Christianity in England today.”
Adrian Harris, Head of Digital Communications at the Church of England, said: “Extensive research helped us to really understand what people wanted from the new website and these insights shaped the strategy and have been our north star over the last seven months.
“My prayer is that this transformed website will help Christians to grow in faith and give those exploring Christianity the opportunity to know the love of Jesus Christ in their lives.
“As part of our website transformation programme, we will soon be launching the new A Church Near You website, our national church finder that receives 13 million page views per year. The new Archbishops of Canterbury and York websites will go live by the end of January 2018.”
The work of the 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.
The Church of England worked with Reading Room, a leading digital agency, on the research and development of the new Church of England website.