All of the 16,500 churches in the CofE have a page on the website, including the nearly 300 churches across Europe and Morocco. Churches can log in and edit these pages, adding photos, services and events and information about the life of the church. Follow the steps on our Editor Help Centre to claim your church’s page if you are not yet using the site.
After relaunching the seven-year-old site in time for Christmas last year to get the site secure, mobile-friendly and easier to edit, we started work on phase two of the new ACNY this summer.
These changes now mean churches can use the site as their website for FREE. By following these simple steps, you can point your domain towards your A Church Near You page, so you can still use your existing URL to encourage people to find out more about your church. This means you won’t have to reprint literature with your URL on, or update any information on your social media channels about your web address – using your existing www. will take visitors through to your ACNY page.
These pages have lots of new functionality, as requested through our regular editor surveys, to help meet the digital evangelism and discipleship priorities of our churches – as well as the more practical ones!
The upgrade we launched in the last month includes the ability to add a gallery, news stories and news sheets and to see your analytics on your church's page, showing you how many people have visited your page this week, month and year when logged in. As ever, our is on hand to guide you through the new features, so if you would like some help, do read the help articles provided:
- How to use the new gallery
- How to choose which of your services or events appear on your homepage
- How to choose which of your news stories appear on your homepage
- How to add a news story
- How to add a notice sheet
- How to edit and unpublish new stories or news sheets
- How to use the new campaign feature
- How to use the new Inbox on ACNY
As we prepare for Christmas and work to encourage a record-number of visitors into our churches, we hope you will find these new changes helpful in sharing the news of the events and services you’re planning in Advent, Christmas and through to Epiphany. Remember to use all the relevant tags when adding your events and services, as this is how users will find these services when searching the site.
For the first time this Christmas, you’ll also be able to pull all the #FollowTheStar branding onto your homepage, giving you a personalised look and making it even easier for visitors to find out about all you have organised this year. Find out more about the campaign feature.
As the digital team continues the work on A Church Near You as a key strategic tool in our digital evangelism and discipleship priorities, we’re encouraged by messages of support like this, from the Bishop of Ripon, Helen-Ann Hartley:
"A Church Near You is a fantastic, free resource for our churches. I'm delighted by the way so many editors in my diocese - and beyond - are claiming their pages and using them to let millions of visitors to the site know what they get up to each week, from the regular Sunday services to the holiday clubs, foodbanks and community groups on offer. I'm excited to see how churches now make the most of the ability to use their ACNY page as their website, saving these churches money that can be freed up for other church projects. We all know how important digital is to our evangelism and discipleship strategies, and I believe ACNY can play a huge role in that."
As ever, we are on hand to help with any questions you might have about ACNY. Do have a look at the Editor Help Centre for the blogs and tips provided. You can request further support through the Editor Help Centre if required.
Digital communications manager