The Online Services Register is the digital equivalent of keeping a paper Services Register book.
General Synod approved the online Services Register as a legal alternative to the paper version in July 2023. Switching from paper to the online version is optional.
All current approved editors on AChurchNearYou.com already have access to the online Services Register for their church(es).
- Quick and easy access to your service data when you need it – export a spreadsheet rather than trawl paper books.
- Increase security of your service data – the online Services Register is only accessible to approved AChurchNearYou.com editors.
- Seamless export to your Statistics for Mission return if you wish – saving you time.
- Complete the online register after a service like you would a paper register, or use it live as people enter a service - tap the '+' button to count attendees as they come in.
- Enter service date and time manually or choose to pull services through from your AChurchNearYou.com calendar - means you won't have to write out the date and time again for the Services Register entry and helps prevent duplication.
- Enter, view, edit or delete entries, or export a spreadsheet (.csv) of all your entries to date.
- Works when you're offline too: you can open the register and add data while offline, everything you enter is safely saved in a review area, then once you're online again you will be prompted to submit the data into the register.
- Automatically prepopulate your Statistics for Mission return with data you have recorded through the register throughout the year.
Making the switch
You can try the online Services Register out now alongside keeping records in your paper Services Register.
When you are ready to formally make the switch and stop using your paper Services Register completely, you will need your PCC or Cathedral Chapter (or Guild Church Council or District Church Council) to pass a resolution to approve this. If you want to revert to paper later, you can switch back by the same body passing a resolution to switch back to paper.
You do not have to enter services held elsewhere (such as some Fresh Expressions or services at a crematorium) but if you do so consistently, including the optional fields, it will mean that when you come to complete your Statistics for Mission form at the end of the year, more fields will be pre-populated for you.
A. How to make a service in your AChurchNearYou.com calendar appear in the Services Register
Note: This is recommended but optional. You do not have to have the service listed in your AChurchNearYou.com calendar to be able to record it in the online Services Register.
- Open your church in editor view.
- Select 'Services and events' from the editor menu.
- OPTION 1: Click the pencil button top right of an existing event entry. OPTION 2: Click 'Add new' to create a new service.
- Look for the 'Optional details' section and check the new box there that says 'Include in services register'.
- Scroll down and press save at the bottom of the page.
B. How to create an entry in the Services Register
- Open your church in editor view.
- Select 'Services register' from the editor menu.
- Select 'Record a service'.
- OPTION 1: Click in the 'Select service' section at the top of the form, and from the dropdown select the service you want to record attendance for. The date and time fields will automatically complete. OPTION 2: Skip the 'select service' section. Go straight to the date and time fields and fill these in manually.
- Select all the types of service that apply and complete any additional fields that appear when you do this.
- In the attendees section, show the number of attendees using the plus/minus buttons or type the number of attendees
- In the people and notes section, complete officiant, and preacher (or select the checkbox to show preacher is same as officiant), and then sermon subject. The notes field is optional. For data protection reasons, do not record names in the notes section. It is OK to put in the names of the officiating minister and preacher where the form asks for this.
- Press save.
If you do not see the 'Select service' field:
Check if you are connected to the internet. The 'Select service' field is only available when online. If you are completing the form offline it is not available.
If you do not see the service, you want in the 'Select service' field:
Scroll up this instruction page and check the instructions in part A above - have you pre-set the service to appear in the register?
Check the existing service register entries - has attendance already been recorded for this service?
C. How to create an entry in the Services Register when offline
- Before going offline, log into AChurchNearYou.com in an online browser session. For example, you could do this at home before you go to church. Or just don't hit 'log out' when you finish any edits of your church and then you'll always be ready to add an offline Services Register entry (not advised if using a shared device).
- Once you are offline, open the URL achurchnearyou.com/offline/ in any browser (this works even if you are offline)
- You will see a message saying 'You are offline', click the button underneath that says 'Add a service'. (If you don't see the button, you'll need to go online and log in before returning to offline.)
- Complete the form. The form when offline looks similar to the form when online, however the 'Select service' field is not available, you have to put in the date and time yourself.
- Press save. You will then see a confirmation screen saying your entry is stored and you can submit it when you are next online.
When you are online again,
- Open any page on AChurchNearYou.com (make sure you're logged in).
- You will see a message at the top of the page saying, 'You have some saved Services Register data. View and submit this data.' Click the text 'View and submit this data'.
- You will see a list of your offline entries, press 'submit' next to the ones you want to submit.
D. Statistics for Mission import
When you come to complete your Statistics for Mission return at the end of the year, you will have the option to 'Import ACNY Service Register' on the Statistics for Mission Return system.
Screengrab from the Statistics For Mission Return system, button to 'Import ACNY Service Register' is at the bottom.
If you select this, you will then be able to review all the data (and if you wish amend it) before confirming import of the data.
If you have questions, feedback or suggestions about the online Services Register, contact us.