New websites launched for Archbishops of Canterbury and York

08 February 2018

LAMBETH PALACE

TWO new websites have been launched for the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to promote their work and give updates and news.

The new websites were launched on Monday of last week and follow the same design as the C of E’s main site, with a mobile-friendly layout and an emphasis on images and videos over text.

The two new sites took eight months to build and are the first new sites for the Archbishops in seven years — a “lifetime” in online terms, the C of E’s head of digital communications, Adrian Harris, said last week.

The “aim of the three sites,” Mr Harris said, “is that they all sit together”, allowing the Archbishops to “share their ministry, their work and their priorities”.

The digital media officer at Lambeth Palace, Chris Cox, said that the aim was to “bring to life the story” of Archbishop Welby’s ministry. The new site features a video in which Archbishop Welby describes how he came to faith, and how he is sustained in his work as archbishop. On the York site, Dr Sentamu describes a typical day; and there is a Q&A section.

JOHN SENTAMUJOHN SENTAMU

Mr Cox said that the new sites were “one part of the bigger story of the Church embracing digital communications to reach out to Christians and non-Christians in order to introduce them to Jesus Christ and the Church”.

The main Church of England website relaunched in November, having been worked on by a team of five at Church House, Westminster, in partnership with Reading Room, a commercial digital agency (News, 16 November 2017). More than 2000 people had been surveyed for their opinions during the planning stage.

The church-finding website A Church Near You was relaunched in December, to coincide with a new campaign to encourage people to attend services during Advent and Christmas (News, 5 December 2017). Organisers reported that the number of page views in the run-up to Christmas grew from 925,000 in 2016 to 1.5 million in 2017; 69 per cent of people who looked at the site were new visitors.

Mr Harris said initial feedback has been encouraging, and that it was “clear from research that people want to learn more about the work of the archbishops”.

Mr Harris will give a presentation about digital evangelism at the General Synod on Saturday. He will tell members that, since it’s relaunch, there has been a 20 per cent increase in page views for the C of E’s main website, across a broad range of ages.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s website

The Archbishop of York’s website

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