Website systems which work for multi-parish benefice

Author: Jason Baldry

Published on: 29 December 2017

We have been using Squarespace for over four years now, moving over to the platform from WordPress.

Jason Baldry STN (St Thomas Norwich)

What Squarespace offers us are websites that are clean, responsive and easy to maintain whilst ensuring absolute security. Squarespace also has amazing support built into the yearly subscription fee, so if you ever need help they are on hand. It fits our brand perfectly. We strive to not just have one of the best church websites, but also a website that can compete with the best that the private sector has to offer. Being a platform used by both churches and professionals in multiple industries, Squarespace allows us to capture that level of quality.

At STN we want to work with other churches to help them bring their websites to life, and can assist with integrating other key services such as domain names, email and social media.

The Revd Adrian Miller Rector, Mulbarton Group

The ChurchNet website system we use, along with several other benefices, I created and designed primarily for multi-parish Anglican benefices (although can be used by single parishes or non-Anglican churches). I’ve spent nine years using my previous technical experience to build something that really fits our context, and that others can use too.

It gives a really good first impression to those curious about one of our churches. With high population turnover, and new housing estates, having a professional looking site for people checking us out is very important. The site looks great on any device, and because it is dynamically generated from a database, it never goes out-of-date. The database is super-easy to keep up-to-date with fresh news, events and resources for people to download. We regularly receive comments from baptism families, wedding couples and visitors to the church, telling us how surprised they were by how good the church website is!

It goes far beyond a simple shop window web presence, however. It helps ease communication and administration in the benefice, with a host of helpful features, including a full secure email server, with unlimited email addresses and group forwarding, automatic email updates, service rotas, booking systems, community engagement tools, and much more. The feature list is extensive, and all as standard. It is being actively developed and is well supported.

The complete system is available for churches for just £120 per year per benefice, regardless of how many parishes make use of it. This is a less than anything comparable, and made available at such good value out of a passion for less well-resourced churches to have really decent websites. or contact me on nqevna@puhepuarg.pb

The author...

Jason Baldry

Head of Media & IT St Thomas’, Norwich (STN)

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