by Phil Andrews
It has been many years now since Isleworth Congregational Church first launched its website, but the recent improved version provides us with a whole range of opportunities to reach out into the wider community, as well as to interact with one another at our own leisure, outside of organised Church activities.
Just as our dependable printed newsletter records for posterity the monthly doings of our fellowship, our website serves both as a handy reference point for keeping those interested in our activities updated and as a growing database of published articles, many of which deserve to be kept alive for much longer than the solitary month permitted by the previous version.
Easier to find
As well as retaining all the articles that we have published down the months in reverse chronological order, the new system enables us to sub-categorise articles in such a way that makes them easier to find without visitors having to trawl through long lists of others which may be of no special interest to them.
Antony’s informative piece “…it seemed too good to be true”, published elsewhere in this month’s newsletter, is a useful case in point. Whilst it will appear in reverse sequence amid the general list of articles, it will also feature under other subheadings which are subject-relevant. So click on the category heading “Rev. Antony W. Ball” and the last ten contributions from Antony will appear, and no others. Click on “Easter” and the last ten pieces on Easter, to the exclusion of everything else, will show. And so on.
Leave a Reply
The other major feature worth drawing to the attention of visitors is the “Leave a Reply” section at the foot of each individual article. This gives every reader the ability to actually interact with the item he or she has just read. Feel free to offer praise, criticism or any other relevant comments which you feel may add value to the topic of the article. Your reply may even inspire a discussion amongst other readers!
If you like a particular page or article you can also share it with your own contacts, either through social media or just through private text, e-mail or WhatsApp messages. As well as the website’s home domain at www.isleworthcongregational.org, each individual page and newsletter article has its own unique web address which you can simply copy and paste, sending visitors to it directly from your Facebook post or wherever.
The beauty of having a website is that there are no limits as to who may drop by and see what we are doing. It is true that whilst we speak potentially to an audience of billions our actual readership is a tad more modest (121 unique visits this month at the time of writing). All the same we regularly have people looking in from Ireland, the USA, Australia and even China – not many of whom, I would venture, are likely to show up at services anytime soon.
There is also a handy Contact Form which anyone visiting the site can use, to make it easier for people to communicate with us. Whilst it does have the disadvantage of being something of a spam magnet, it is also a useful feature for submitting comments, suggestions, ideas for new features – even articles for possible publication (hint intentional)!
The new website is there to bring the world closer to our Church, and members of our fellowship closer to each other. Please take a look, and help us to develop it and make it a success.