Emails are not forwarded to churches, rather they are held securely in an Inbox on AChurchNearYou.
If you have entered an email address into your church's Get in Touch form (see: https://achurchnearyou.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002581494) then an Alert email is sent to that address to let you know that a message has arrived in your church's Inbox. This removes the need to regularly check the Inbox on AChurchNearYou to see if you have received any messages. When a member of the public sends a message to your church using the Get in Touch form, AChurchNearYou will send you an email to Alert you. Simply click the Inbox link in the email you receive in order to read the message from the member of the public.
There is currently no way to switch off the Inbox on your church's AChurchNearYou presence.
The reasons for both of these decisions, emails not being forwarded to churches and not being able to switch off the Inbox on a church by church basis, are varied and considered.
The forwarding emails in plain text to email addresses supplied can be risky as the validity of the email address cannot be assured.
We also have an issue of email address upkeep and scale; while we understand that many churches reading this article will have an up to date email address which is monitored, we scale to 16,500 churches. We get to see the enormous volume of bounce backs we receive from the Alert emails sent to email address which were once valid, but are no longer.
We also get replies from people regarding email addresses which used to be used as a church's point of contact but they have since moved roles, moved location, the email address owner is now retired or has died.
If emails were being forwarded direct to an email address, rather than just an Alert being sent, the data privacy implications would be tremendous. If we allowed churches to switch off the Inbox and point people to their own email addresses, we wouldn't even receive the bounce backs and we would be entirely unaware of the number of unreceived and unread emails, and couldn't help connect churches back up to the lost messages.
It's for reasons of data security, personal information integrity, and protection of churches and the public, that the Inbox exists on AChurchNearYou. It ensures that, even if an email address is no longer valid, has been hacked, is no longer used, as been entered incorrectly, or encounters any other of a wide range of deliverability issues, the message from the member of the public remains safe and accessible by the church when they are able to check it.
Further information about the Inbox can be found here: https://achurchnearyou.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009832913 and it includes a walkthrough on how to use your own email client/service such as Outlook or Gmail to reply to/forward emails received into your AChurchNearYou Inbox so that you do not have to copy and paste information.