An example of the new A Church Near You home page (with holding text!)
The designs are now complete and signed off, and the work of building the site is well underway for a launch in November 2017. Key new features include:
- Churches will be able to add extra information to events and services, such as a location other than the church, times, accessibility and contact details. This will enable churches to showcase their one-off services out in the community or parish away days outside the church building.
- Space to include information about the facilities the church has, from a post office to a foodbank or Alpha.
- Churches will be able to see the number of page views their profile gets each week, month and year thanks to a new analytics feature built into the logged in view.
- Users will not only be able to search for their nearest church – and now Church of England school – but able filter the search to show them results that include the features and facilities they’re looking for, such as accessibility, car parking or service type.
- Churches will be able to add up to five editors, meaning it will be easier than ever to keep profiles up to date. Access to edit a church’s profile will be granted by the vicar, who will be the church’s admin.
- In phase two, churches will be able to turn their simple page into a full church website – even having the option of using a unique URL, or the URL of their current website. From the launch in November, profiles will already begin to look far more like a website, with editors able to add pages, images and customise the tiles on their profile. We hope this will save a lot of churches money.
We’re so excited about the new ACNY, which has been getting some great feedback from the internal testing and focus groups we’ve been running. Church House is keeping in regular contact with A Church Near You editors as they prepare for launch and the site will sit at the heart of the national Christmas campaign.
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.