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17th July 2017

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Your church can be sociable

A well-attended workshop entitled “The Online Parish Magazine: Using the web and social media” was held in Liverpool on 28th June 2014. Organised by the North West Regional Group of ACE, it was facilitated by Stuart Haynes, Director of Communications for both the Liverpool Diocese and Cathedral. His informal style of presentation led to a good level of interaction with those present. Much of his presentation was illustrated using an online laptop projected onto a large screen.

Stuart mainly dealt with using social networks, in particular Facebook, and demonstrated how maintaining a Facebook page can be a good tool for promoting church activities. A point he made at the outset, and repeated during the day, was that before setting up a website or a social networking presence, it is essential to establish why we want to do it and what we want to achieve, as well as the need to consider who is likely to be your target audience. Other points regarding Facebook were discussed, including privacy settings, opening an account and the procedure and options in creating a Facebook page for a church.

Stuart touched on church websites and what to include, although because of the numerous software packages available for web building he did not go into a lot of technical detail. He did talk about uploading pdf files of church magazines to websites including page turning software, in particular issuu.com.

There were some interesting suggestions when the group was asked for ideas of topics for future workshops. These included:

Stuart also agreed to run another workshops in 12 months time to look at how we have progressed with our aspirations regarding our website and using social networking.

Alan Rickards is a member of the organising committee of

the North West Regional Group

Design, clipart and photographs in Lincoln

A workshop was held at the very impressive venue of St Nicholas Church in Lincoln in March 2014, attend by some ACE members in the area, but mainly by people who were new to the Association. The ACE chairman and vice chairman led the workshop and it covered areas including magazine design and layout, choosing effective headlines, use of humour, effective writing and using photographs and clipart.

In addition, there was a session on how to prepare photographs using software applications.

There was lively discussion on all of these topics and the session where editors compared their approach on magazine production was particularly popular.

The workshop was arranged by local ACE member Hilary Barrett who is editor of the Alford Group Messenger, covering several churches in the Alford area of Lincolnshire. Hilary’s magazine won the top award in the 2013 ACE Awards Scheme.

Lincoln cathedral during

the Christmas market

Photograph by permission of the Diocese of Liverpool