All roads lead to A Church Near You

As we start to build to advent and Christmas Stuart Haynes, Director of Communications explains why keeping your A Church Near You site updated can help your church grow.

“I absolutely believe that advent and Christmas offers us the greatest opportunity to connect with our communities, the people on the fringe of church, the curious and interested.

The whole country talks about Christmas, all the research shows that people are warm to the Christmas story, know many of the carols and interest in church reaches a peak.

That’s why we are launching this year’s Bring One Friend challenge through the rule of life – and we encourage everyone to sign up to an account on to get encouragement and reflection from Bishop Paul.

That’s why the national church digital team put a massive amount of effort into their Follow The Star campaign. This reached nearly 8m on social media and had a significant impact.

That’s why A Church Near You is so important. Everything about Follow the Star is about directing people to A Church Near You to encourage people to find a local service. Last Christmas 1.6m people visited the site. They could be looking at your church, your page, so making sure it is up to date can really benefit you.

To help you we have arranged for the national church to offer webinars – hour-long tutorials to help you through the basics of getting the best out of A Church Near You. You can find the details here.

In our diocese, 47% of our A Church Near You pages have not been edited in the last three months and 134 messages have gone unanswered. That’s a great deal of potential contact with people that we are missing out on. This is a shame when so much effort from the national church and ourselves is going to point people towards this useful site.

You have time. You have an opportunity here to encourage your congregations to Bring One Friend and to Follow the Star. Make sure your pages are updated. If you need help and support then it is easy to book yourself on one of the webinars.

All roads lead to A Church Near You – in time for Christmas why not make sure your site is ready to cope with new visitors.”