Today, 30 August, the Church of England released details of the revision of A Church Near You (ACNY) site, following a report earlier this year by the Digital Communications team at Church House in London. 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 more than 13 million page views each year. The announcement states:
“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.”