Over the last few months we have been working will colleagues to develop an Online Service Register to enable churches to record their services digitally. This is due to become available later in the year, however, due to recent events, we thought it would be a good idea launch phase one of this project as soon as possible. Phase one allows churches to record their online services and attendance via A Church Near You. This is not compulsory, and will not yet replace the current paper Service Register.
We hope that churches find this new functionality beneficial and helpful when reflecting back on the past few months. Nationally it will give us a much better understanding of what churches have been offering their communities during the lockdown restrictions.
How to use the Online Service Register
On the left-hand menu, first ‘Online Service Register’ and click the tab – you will only be able to see this once logged in as an editor. The public cannot access this. As this will be the first service you’re recording, click ‘Record an event’. Fill out the form. While you’re streaming services online, you will need to select ‘Online event’ in the ‘Special event types’ field.
The form then asks for the number of adults. This may be difficult while streaming online, so just record the number you know have watched. With some platforms, such as Facebook, the number of ‘views’ will include anyone who’s watched for more than three seconds. Try to include a true reflection of people watched the duration of the service.
The last field offers the opportunity to add this event to your ACNY calendar, if you haven’t already done so. You can then edit this service once added to add more details and make it a regular event.
Once you have filled in as much detail as possible, click ‘Save’. You can always come back later and edit.
- Deleting an event: Currently you cannot delete an event off the register. If you have added a service that you want to remove we advise you mark the attendance as zero, and the leave until you have a service to log and then reuse this entry. You will not be able to change the service name; if the service name is different please advise on this in the notes section.
- Multiple churches & one service: We are aware many benefices are holding one on-line service for the whole benefice. To register this we advise that you log the service against the lead church in the Benefice, or a suitable church for recording purposes. Information about the fact this service was across the whole benefice can be included in the notes section.
- Editing the name of the service: The drop down menu of names is populated by the services you have added to ACNY in the services and events section. If you cannot find the right service name in the dropdown menu, please update your services and events with the service you are trying to register and then the dropdown menu will update with that name which you can use for the entry.
- Registering previous services: We are not expecting churches to retrospectively register previous services, please start registering from now on.