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A Church Near You: Why is it such a key resource?

Reflections from various users across the Diocese,tips and links to resources.

Did you know that every Church of England church has a page on A Church Near You?

Since launch, has become a major tool to encourage people into their local church as well as the top way, on the internet, that people search for a church. A series of new features launched in July this year, based on feedback from 16,000 editors. Churches using the site will now be able to embed videos onto their pages, add biographies for clergy and use the site as a Benefice website, with new Benefice homepages and an easy tool to copy events onto every church in the Benefice, saving editors from entering this information multiple times. The data from Church of England reveals 8 reasons why you should us it.

A Church Near You (ACNY) is completely free to use. By using it as your website you can free up money for other church projects as well as promote and engage a variety of audiences. But don’t just take our word for it, we have spoken to a variety of people around the Diocese about it’s various uses, read what they have to say below and get some tips from the users!

Managing multiple churches and two towns

Rebecca Parnell (Operations Manager in March and Littleport)

 It’s great that ACNY is so easy to personalise for each church; as Operations Manager for four churches in March and one in Littleport, this has been ideal as all the churches I deal with are very different from one another, with such a varied set of services and events. ACNY allows me to standardise them on the same basic platform while also giving the freedom to allow their individual styles to show through, via the cover photos, logos and profile pictures.

The image feature on each separate service entry helps give the audience a visual picture of the kind of event on offer, while making the pages much more colourful and eye-catching.

The ability to insert further pages under the ‘About Us’ tab provides so much flexibility to add more sections relevant to each individual church. It is ideal to create pages dedicated specifically to topics such as Safeguarding, church hall hire, baptism information, church-led after-school groups etc.

Overall, ACNY is a very central part of our churches’ visibility and outreach; this year to date, these five churches have received over 12,000 page views!

Christmas events #FollowTheStar

Laura Ashley (Parish Administrator and ALM In Training in Yaxley) reflects on using your ACNY to get ready for Christmas.

We have all our Christmas services on ACNY and have them tagged with #FollowTheStar. Adding events to a church near you is really straightforward. It's quick to complete all the necessary information and well presented. If you're already advertising elsewhere you can just cut and paste your information into ACNY and upload your photo.”

Using it as a main webpage and News Stories Platform

Lucie Foice-Beard (Operations Manager, Wisbech)

I have been using A Church Near You for the past 12 months as the main webpage for St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Wisbech.  There are many fabulous features, one of which is the option to add News Stories.

This is a great way to update readers in a simplified format on a platform they are already used to navigating. Once I have uploaded an image and the content, I share the story onto the social media accounts I manage for the church. As this reaches the social media audience, it drives footfall to A Church Near You to raise awareness of the site and to encourage the reader to explore further.

It really is a pleasure managing pages on A Church Near You. I really encourage others to-do so.

So if you have not claimed your A Church Near You page yet, follow the simple instructions here or use the Editor Help Centre full of resources and assistance to help you.




Page last updated: Wednesday 20th November 2019 4:59 PM
First published on: 20th November 2019
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