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Answers on A Church Near You hits

13 December 2019

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or to add to the answers given below


As the Church Near You editor for a rural benefice of 15 churches, I am puzzled that the site for each church consistently receives 70-100 hits per week (4500 per church per year). This is larger than the population for the whole benefice. It is not reflected in attendance at services, visitors, or enquiries to the churches. Why are these figures so high, and do other churches have anomalously high figures?

Your answers: I had raised exactly the same concerns about A Church Near You web hits with our incumbent just as this question was published.

Our churches in the Midi-Pyrénées area of France are having reports of far more hits than those recorded for our own (very popular) website, which is constantly tracked by means of Google’s independent Analytics service.

As a certified computer auditor, I am aware that there are many reasons that web hits can be oddly high. Some relate to constant innocuous polling by search engines (such a Google), others relate to bots constantly polling the websites for less innocuous reasons. In neither case are these real hits, since they are machine-generated. There is a danger that if the Church of England is paying its service-supplier on the basis of the number of hits recorded, such statistics could be seriously distorting the amount of money that is being spent on this service, besides giving a totally misleading impression of the impact that the site is achieving.

I would like to see some far more detailed statistics on the origins of web hits (including IP addresses) to help identify the source of all these hits and will be contacting our Diocesan Communications Officer to see what information might be available.

Clive Billenness CIS (Churchwarden and Data Protection Officer, Anglican Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées and Aude)
Leran, France


As a professional stone sculptor and memorial artist, I have A Church Near You on my favourites list, and may visit the website several times in a week in connection with new commissions. I work across the UK, and, to look up information such as which diocese the client’s church may be in, whom to contact with regard to submitting memorial application forms, and to whom to make fees payable, I’ve found it to be a valuable resource. I have never clicked on it to visit for worship. There must be other memorial sculptors and traders and professionals for whom the website is useful. This may help to explain the high hit-rate that the questioner has experienced.

(Ms) Robyn Golden-Hann
Quarley, Hampshire


Your question: Why is the 1922 Book of Common Prayer lectionary authorised in England, but now not the 1961 (which was an improvement, not least because of its separation rather than harmonisation of the Gospels)?

P. B.


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