Using A Church Near You during physical distancing


In these unprecedented times, we've been inspired by how churches have continued to serve their communities. To support this, we have launched new resources on A Church Near You (ACNY) that will help parts of your church life continue during this period of social distancing.
ACNY website on a laptop

Working with St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Royal School of Church Music, the Church of England is delighted to be providing a resource of rights-free music for use on streamed services. Music can be downloaded on the A Church Near You Resource Hub.

We are releasing up to five hymns each week, which are available for free from the A Church Near You Resource Hub every Thursday evening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Churches who wish to use this music as part of services via YouTube, Facebook, Zoom or other platforms must hold a CCLI Licence (which most churches already do) and add the streaming option to it. Read more here on how to do this and purchase that license on the CCLI website

Visit the Resource Hub to download this week’s choral music here.

We have received many enquiries from editors about how ACNY can support the receiving of online donations, so we have added a set of customisable videos to help churches promote their online giving platforms in the Resources Hub. We have two videos – one shorter for social media and one longer for websites and livestreaming – for you to customise with your church’s name and giving details.

Customise your video today and share it with your congregation to help promote your online giving platform.

COMING SOON: a new donation button that will be available for your ACNY homepage. Until then, add a Page to your ACNY page with information about how people can donate. You can even add the customised donation video to the top of this page. Find out how to do that on the editor help centre here.

Many churches are live streaming their services and events online. There is a ‘Live stream’ tag on A Church Near You, which you can add to your service. Any service, whether streamed live or pre-recorded and then made available at a specific time for viewers to watch, should have the ‘live stream’ tag. This will ensure that your service is visible in the national search page that we are directing the public to:

Adding your live streamed service and event is done in just the same way as you would normally add a service or event to your ACNY page. We have provided specific guidance for adding live streamed services to your ACNY page on the Editor Help Centre.

Other useful features to explore on ACNY:

  • Mobile editing is now LIVE on ACNY, meaning that editors can now login on their mobile phones and access their ACNY page. You can to check your inbox and edit pages. Learn about editing your ACNY page on your mobile device on the Editor Help Centre. ACNY works across all devices, making access to edit ACNY easier than ever before.
  • Embedding videos on your pages on ACNY. You are able to embed video from YouTube or Vimeo directly onto the page, so when the viewer goes to the page, they can see the video with the ‘play’ icon. This is a great tool for playing pre-recorded services and sermons through ACNY. Useful tip: If you have an audio-only file of a sermon for example, you can make a screen presentation of it, adding images that relate to what is being said. This can then be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and embedded into an ACNY page, enabling you to have a Sermon page.
  • Hyperlinking is possible across ACNY. You are able to link the text directly to other web pages, such as your church website, donation platform or the Church of England website. To link text on ACNY, you need to select the text you would like to link, and then click the # symbol in the box that appears. Find out more about formatting text in the Editor Help Centre.

Labs Learning Webinars

We are running a series of free webinars to help your church to use digital communications to keep connected with those who attend your services and events, as well as reaching out and caring for those in the local community around you. These cover A Church Near You, online donations, social media and live streaming and more. Go to to book your free place today.

Keep up to date with all things digital and join our Labs Latest newsletter.
Subscribe here