"Without a doubt, A Church Near You is coming into its own as an important part of our communications to support and stimulate local church growth", so said Stuart Haynes, Director of Communications following his presentation about digital communications to Diocesan Synod.
His presentation came before the national team's success at the national Digital Impact Awards where the church beat stiff competition from top brands to win a host of awards. The national team's success vindicates the strategic investment from Archbishops' Council, an investment that has paid great dividends seeing the revamp of both A Church Near You and the Church of England's website as well as launching campaigns such as #LiveLent and this year's #FollowTheStar campaign.
But Stuart isn't looking for anywhere near that level of investment to come to the diocesan communications team. "why would we do that" he explains "now that the national operation has a clear focus our aim is to encourage local parishes and worshipping communities to use the national content and join with the national campaigns, They are producing excellent stuff which is free for us all to use and share - so why not take advantage of this.
So why the emphasis on A Church Near You? "One of the things that the team recognised was the potential of A Church Near You. As a source of information about the local church and the connection between digital evangelism, all roads lead to A Church Near You. Every national campaign is focussed on trying to drive traffic to a Church Near You so that people can connect with the local church"
Stuart emphasised one action that every church can take. "Update your site and do it now. Make sure you have all your advent and Christmas events and services on it; check your basic details - contacts and other areas are correct, and start to think about uploading your events for next year's Bishops' In Mission"
And what's more, the national team have now arranged that you can make your A Church Near You site your own website with your unique web address. Ideal for churches who haven't the ability to create their own sites and with the potential to save the church at least a million pounds.
"The national team won awards for Impact" explains Stuart, "the impact it can have on you is an easy way to be a bigger church making a bigger difference using their creativity and resources to help reach more people and bring them to church. Taking part in the #FollowTheStar campaign will bring you attention - a good A Church Near You site will help you make the best of all that creative work"
Find out more about A Church Near You below and how to #FollowTheStar in the sidepanel.
For more help, advice, and encouragement in digital communications contact firstname.lastname@example.org