Based on editor feedback, we're introducing new features to make things easier for people who edit multiple churches. You will also be able to have a benefice website within AChurchNearYou.com, if you want to.
Register to attend a webinar about the features, with demonstration and Q&A.
Here in our editor guidance we're calling what we're offering 'benefice sites' and 'benefice features'.
However we've built it so you can adjust the language that you show to the public, so your benefice site never says 'benefice' unless you want it to. That means it will work for scenarios such as 'multi church benefice', 'team parish', 'team ministry', 'group', 'one church with two locations' or similar.
The changes will also help you if you don't want to show people a benefice site but do edit multiple churches and want an easier way to copy and control events and news across all of them.
You won't be able to do everything on AChurchNearYou.com benefice sites that you can on AChurchNearYou.com church sites. Our hope is that we have created something that will be helpful now but that we can also build on in the future, based on your feedback.
And, if where you are there isn't any sense of identity as a benefice, or you are in a single church benefice, don't worry, none of this is going to be forced on you automatically, links to a benefice site will only appear on church sites if you specifically switch them on.
1. Benefice sites with homepage, services and events page and more
You said: Current benefice pages only let you have a logo, description and list of churches. We need more for it to be useful.
We did: Rather than just a single benefice page, you now have a benefice homepage, and additional pages, including a services and events page, creating a full benefice site. The homepage design includes space for contact details, a map of your churches/locations and a selection of your upcoming services or events.
Read about how to edit your benefice homepage.
Or, to get started with editing right away go to your Churches and Benefice page (on mobile this is also know as My ACNY).
2. Create and manage events and news and custom pages at benefice level and choose which churches should display them
You said: We want more control, speed and flexibility in how we can copy information like events and display them on multiple church sites. The current 'copy' function is OK but if we want to adjust a detail later, we have to do that on every copy.
We did: Add and edit services and events, and news or notices and custom pages at benefice level. Decide if they will show on benefice sites only, benefice site and all church sites, or benefice site and only some church sites.
To get started, go to your Churches and Benefice page (on mobile this is also know as My ACNY) and choose the 'edit' button next to the benefice you want to add content to.
3. Option to swap out 'benefice' language, to suit what you use locally
You said: Not everyone calls their benefice a benefice. Some of us call it Team Ministry, Team Parish, Group, or something different.
We did: When you edit your benefice homepage, there you get an option to overwrite the term 'benefice' with another term. When you do this it will apply your change to every instance where 'benefice' is otherwise shown to the public by our designs.
If you wish you can even overwrite the term 'church' with another term. This will suit parishes with several buildings who refer to themselves as 'one church, two locations' or similar.
Please note: As an editor you will still see the term 'benefice' sometimes, for example in editor guidance that is only visible within editor view, or on the 'My Churches and Benefices' pages that only editors can see. You can't change that. But what you are able to control is what the public will see.
Read about how to edit your benefice homepage - includes instructions about swapping out language.
4. Flexible options for linking to benefice sites from church sites
You said: It's not easy for a visitor to a church site to find benefice information.
We did: When you edit your benefice homepage, you can enable options to put a button on your churches' homepages that links to your benefice site, and/or to add a benefice link to the menu of your churches' sites. The language on both of these responds to whatever you have set so it won't say 'benefice' unless you want it to.
Read about how to edit your benefice homepage - includes instructions about controlling if and how your benefice appears on church sites.
5. Improved 'My Churches and Benefices' page (for desktop users)
This is a change for all editors, not just those who edit multiple churches.
You said: It's not easy to tell how to open editor view from the 'My Churches and Benefices' page. I understand now that the little cog symbol is what opens editor view, but it's not easy to tell that or easy to spot it. And I understand now that when I click the name of the church on the My Churches and Benefices it opens public view, but again that's not easy to work out.
We did: On the My Churches and Benefices page, the name of the church is no longer clickable. Instead there are three clear buttons next to each church and each benefice. These are:
- 'View live' (teal with an eye symbol)
- 'Edit' (lilac/burgundy with a pencil symbol)
- 'Add event' (orange with a plus symbol)
This means they are clearer and match the language, colours and symbols we use elsewhere within editor view.
Please note: The Churches and Benefices page only shows on desktop, it is not shown to mobile users. On mobile there is 'My ACNY' instead and the mobile experience remains unchanged.
Making a benefice site your main website
Your benefice site address will be something like this: achurchnearyou.com/benefice/99-BBB.
If you would like to make your benefice site on AChurchNearYou.com your main church website, you may also be interested to know that:
1. You can purchase custom domain name (e.g. anytownbenefice.org) and set it up to forward to your AChurchNearYou.com benefice site. If you already have a custom domain name pointing to an external website, but want AChurchNearYou.com to become your main website, you can adjust the settings of that domain name to point to AChurchNearYou.com benefice site instead.
Information for those who were already doing this, pointing to the old-style benefice pages on AChurchNearYou.com - your link may no longer work - please contact us and we can put this right. For background, go to this page and scroll down.
2. On request we will soon be able to offer you a local AChurchNearYou.com domain name (e.g. achurchnearyou.com/anytown-benefice) if you would like this, that would forward to your benefice site. Contact us if you are interested in this and we'll be in touch as soon as we are ready to go with offering this.
Join a webinar
For a walk-through of the changes on ACNY, join this 45-minute webinar, which includes a live demonstration and the opportunity to ask questions.
This webinar has daytime and evening sessions, and includes live captioning. A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants after the date.