As a member of the Beacon Team, a collaborative of churches in the local Kendal and South Lakes area, St George’s Church did not have their own website. However, as a proactive and vibrant church, with a strong presence in the local Kendal community, it became clear that they would benefit from a website from which they could offer a range of information to keep people updated of events at the church, detail on some of the key services which underpin major milestones in many peoples’ lives, and advertise venue hire to local groups.
With an interesting history and an enthusiasm to move forward with the times they wanted a website which was sensitive to some of the older members of the congregation but interesting enough to get the attention of the younger people of the community. With no online presence other than via the Beacon Team, in what is a changing world more reliant on Google than ever, there was concern as to how St George’s could reach the Kendal community unless individuals came along to the church to ask the relevant questions.
Our first step, and the quickest win, was to set St George’s Church up with its own Facebook page. This was then handed over to a member of the congregation who is proactive, involved in many groups, and bridges any gap between the old and the new very effectively. The Facebook page has since been well maintained and played a key part in getting out information and messages of support to the public following the Cumbria floods in December 2015.
We then designed a website using WordPress which we feel best represents St George’s Church. The website tells the story of St George’s history and now its part as a community church for the people of Kendal during key life events and also in the day-to-day. Also with the sermons of a Sunday service considered in high regard by many we built in the functionality to allow these to be shared following the service and picked up anytime, anywhere. For the first time St George’s Church can upload audio and video posts to reach out to their congregation, meaning where a Sunday morning in church is not possible the church can come to you upon invite. With no paid employee to maintain the site is was crucial that any website we handed over would be easy to manage and update which is where WordPress has excelled itself.
“At St George’s Church we were looking for a way to reach people beyond our existing congregation and showcase all the different activities and facilities that we have developed over the past few years.
In a very short space of time and from a very sketchy brief – and despite being flooded out of their home for many months in the middle of the development process – Darren and Eilidh came up with an extremely smart (and, thankfully, easy to manage) website which people of all ages and backgrounds at our church are proud to have as our ‘shop window’. They were both a delight to work with throughout and been great at helping us learn how to get the most out of WordPress since the handover.”
LOIS SPARLING, ST GEORGE’S CHURCH