Creating Online Church Communities

I cannot begin to describe the sense of achievement I have felt personally on this particular project. It was our first major church website: the Rural Deanery is made up of 14 parish churches with four serving Anglican priests and four different ideas on how their work was to be ‘communicated’ to the world. The dedication, motivation and inspiration that was offered by the Area Dean to his colleagues, and to us at Cortina Web Solutions, has been the driving force behind the project.

I have been personally involved with this project since November 2006. In February 2007 I went to North Wales and spent two days with the people of the Deanery, working alongside Reverend John Davies, the Area Dean, who was and still remains an inspiration to me. His steadfast dedication and enthusiasm for this web development project has given me a new way of looking at the internet. This project and website has enabled the small rural communities of the Dyffryn Clwyd Deanery to come together in a shared common goal, Christian fellowship has been renewed and strengthened throughout the 14 rural parishes and it has given them all a new way to communicate their work and ministry to the local community and the wider global community.

I have to admit, this project has been the most rewarding I have ever worked on. It took longer than most projects because of the time limitations of the clergy and the sheer number of people that we were relying on to provide material for the website. I have worked on many business web sites, small and large. I have developed large websites for not-for-profit organisations, but the 50 pages that we created for the Dyffryn Clwyd Deanery stands out as the most rewarding. I feel privileged for having had the opportunity to work so closely with such a dedicated group of individuals, people who spend their lives in service of others and the Church.

I now look back at the project and feel like a proud father, watching his child develop and grow. Metaphors aside and in all seriousness, I am humbled by the response the website has had in the local community. Hundreds of people are logging into the site on a regular basis, unique visitors are increasing at an hourly rate and those returning to the site are multiplying week after week. The site has now become a shining example of how a website can improve communications and awareness within a community and in this case develop the Christian faith on a local, regional and national level. It is especially gratifying for me to see so many visitors accessing the regular sermon submissions from across the parishes who are visiting the site from outside the UK. The Dyffryn Clwyd Deanery website has truly succeeded in spreading the message of God: through the medium of the internet.

I would encourage anyone who has taken the time to read this article to take a few moments and take a look at the Deanery website. If you are feeling especially generous with your time, why not send the Area Dean an email with your thoughts on the site:

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