Church Websites

Please click on the headline titles, these will take you to the relavant web pages.  The most recent notes will be at the top of the list.  The notes will become out of date as the churches improve their websites so please take this into account. I will also form a list of quick  Church online suggestions You can also join this Facebook discussion group here Church and Social Media _________________________________

Holy Trinity, Skipton***

A very lively website with a story on the front page and more stories to read. This is an online church magazine. The images in the banner tell me that this is a busy and exciting church catering for a wide range of people and activities. There’s a link to Drystone Radio which broadcasts from the church. This is indeed a church that wants to get out there and connect with people. I love the way the page on weddings begins ‘congratulations on your forthcoming marriage’ we certainly know who they are talking to. The photography is good on this site and they’ve included images with some of the news stories which is great. I’m aware that on many websites incorporating approriately sized and positioned images can be a challenge. Great impression given.

Menston Parish Church ***

The website is very clean and tidy. I know where the church is and that it’s part of the Bradford Diocese. The message on the front page is welcoming and I believe that this is a church that wecomes visitors. The events information is up to date and useful. This is certainly one of the better websites I would say. Photos There are very few photos on the information pages. This, like many websites, bundle most of the photos into a gallery. Is this the best way of displaying photos? Well chosen photos and which support text can be very powerful. This will bring the words to life and back up what is being said with some visual evidence. For example if you say lively worship why not show what it actually looks like on the same page. They do use some photos on the information pages for example the section about the magazine A call to action is the begining of a beautiful relationship A powerful way of engaging visitors is to provide an apportunity for action. If someone books a ticket, requests an information pack, join a facebook group etc then they are begining a relationship with you.   I would say that “call to action” prompts  on the front page give some energy and vitality.    A “sign up for our newsletter” button, “come to our special service on Sunday”.

Parish of St James the Great, Woodhall

The really good thing about this website is that it tells me exactly what kind of church it is This is the website of St James the Great, Woodhall.  It’s an extemely neat website and tells me that whoever runs it really pays attention to detail.  The size of the text, the balance of the layout, punctuation all pretty near perfect as far as I can see. The website is for its members mainly, I would say.  They have the annual report link on the front page so organisation and structure are very important to them.   Interestingly I don’t know if it’s a Church of England church and which Diocese it’s in at first glance which suggests to me that they are pretty self contained and of an independent mindset. This is a church that likes the written word and there are very few images.  There is a photo of people welcoming Bishop Nick  which has been arranged.  The profile pictures of the clergy have been taken with care – all are set against the same background and equal in size – someone who knows photoshop perhaps. Their relationship with the community is probably quite formal.  This is a church that likes things to be done properly and is very clearly organised. If this is who they are then I’d say it’s an excellent website.  What does your website say about you?   St Margaret’s Church Frizinghall, Bradford ***

  • The events on the front page are all coming up in the next week – hallelujah
  • Lively images showing people on the front page – hallelujah
  • We know what you are called where you are and what you believe – hallelujah
  • Youth Group , “work in progress” – I’m still hopeful.

Well done St Margaret’s it looks like you care.

www.heaton.localchurch.org.uk

Note to follow.  Pleased to see the website is being worked on

 

St Chads, Toller Lane Bradford

This simple site gives clear and plain information.  I don’t think it will win any awards for design or the use of images but there’s no doubting that the information is solid. As a reference for finding out when the services are it’s reliable.  All the links seem to work and spelling correct.

The target audience for this website I guess will be people who are already churchgoers and only use the internet as a means of gaining simple straight forward facts – not for any emotional gratification. It does say that the website undergoes regular revision and that the last update was in August 2012.  Annually perhaps?

St Matthew’s, Bankfoot

This one is a mystery. Who or what is having a grand re-opening? Why don’t the links go anywhere (or is it just me?) and why all the music tracks? If you are tempted to experiment with a website and then lose interest, please take it down, specially if it is a public facing communcation for your organisation. I admire those who are eager to praise but I feel we shall know them by their fruits.

Haworth Church on Facebook

Haworth Church has this Facebook page.  They appear to have set up the page as a person called Haworth Church (as in Charlotte Church), not good form!  I wouldn’t know it was Haworth from the picture and there’s a missed opportunity by not having an attractive banner image.  The use of twitter linked to Facebook is really quite lazy – specially if you leave it a month without posting anything.  They haven’t written anything on their about page.  I’ll leave it there.

St Augustines’s in Bradford website *

St Augustines’s in Bradford is working hard to tell us about their church.  I can tell that they aim to be friendly and accessible. The banner images draw me in and I can see that it’s all about smiling people. The Twitter feed tells me that they take the bible seriously. The coming up section doesn’t give me much information and when I click on a link it doesn’t tell me any more!  I was attracted by the promise of “awsome events” but found there weren’t any.  Just shows that keeping a website fresh takes a lot of work.  One of the better websites.

St James Church, Thornton website

At first I didn’t know St James’ Church was in Thornton until I saw the small print.  The images of the building are nice and I’m warned that there are speed cameras outside.  St James’ is a church without people.   They say no news is good news and it certainly seems there isn’t, but it’s coming soon (when I looked). Links, coming soon!  I got excited to see the Black Dyke Mills Band were performing and tickets were only £11. Too bad it was back in March.  Big thumbs down I’m sorry to say.

 St Wilfrid’s Burnsall. Website and social media  ***

Things are looking up. Some great images on the front page and I know exactly where you are. Very welcoming website and places the church right in the community.  The language of the website is aimed at the whole community not just church members. You can get a real introduction to the Christian faith. The page layout is a bit gappy. Their Facebook page (linked from the website)  also provides a good service for the community with invitations to events and community news. I’m sure they deserve more than 12 likes. Twitter is very newsy and I’m sure they can improve on 3 followers.

Pudsey Parish Church website

There’s lots going on in this church but can I make sense of it?  As I clicked around I was drawn to the Vicar’s desk where I found a  video called Start Course Trailer.  I would have liked more detail about this course   There’s lot’s of stuff on this website but stuff doesn’t make for communication.  The content is reduced to clutter with no sense of what’s important and what isn’t.  Sorry to be so glumb about it. *** PS I did later stumble on a video passionately exploring the possibility of doubling the congregation in 5 years.  That interests me and raises all sorts of questions.  Perhaps that very idea could be a focus.

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