The parish website scheme: an introduction
We believe that, as people get used to finding information online, websites have become an increasingly important part of the Mission and Ministry of a Parish. Both provincially and on a diocesan level, the Church in Wales has always done all that it can to encourage and support parishes in creating and maintaining websites. A recent survey, however, showed that 86% of parishes in the province still don’t have a parish website.
In order to assist parishes in creating websites, we have therefore created a new scheme – funded jointly by dioceses and the province – to allow parishes to easily update and create a website. We believe that this scheme allows for the easiest possible creation of a website, and – importantly – requires no software or prior experience.
The Parish Website Scheme is free and all you need to create a website is someone with an internet connection and a little spare time.
The scheme works like this:
- The Parish contacts either the Provincial Creative Resources Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or their Diocesan Communications Officer to request a website.
- If the request comes from someone other than the incumbent of the parish, then we will check that the person has permission to create the website on behalf of the parish.
- We will then issue a username and password, and a link to some guidance material online.
- The person responsible goes to the Provincial website and logs in with their username and password.
- When the person logs in, they will be asked to fill out a form. Once they have filled in the mandatory sections of this form, they will be able to press a “create website” button at the bottom of the page, and their website will be created, using the information they have just added.
- The website is now online, and anyone can see it.
- The person responsible for the site can login again with their username and password as often as they like to add or change information on the website.
Further points to note:
- The system will allow the creation of websites in the language of English, or Welsh, or both.
- The system will be fully backed up, and parishes can reset their passwords, so will always be able to access their websites.
- Parishes that already have websites are welcome to apply to be a part of the scheme, but there is no compulsion for them to do so.
- The system will also allow for Rectorial Benefice or Benefice websites if this is preferred (although it will not allow for a Benefice and a Parish website covering the same location).
If you are not sure whether the system is for you, then you are welcome to try it out and see the results without making a long-term commitment to using the scheme.