Diocese of Portsmouth

The new A Church Near You

Earlier this year the national Digital Communications team at Church House in London produced a report on how to get the most from the new A Church Near You. They spoke to 1,800 people across the country to gather insights and thoughts on how to make the service much better for a site that receives over 13 million page views each year.

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 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.

* 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.

Church House are 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 under this year's theme of #GodWithUs.