Churches have lots of opportunities to communicate with their communities, through a variety of channels including digital and social media.
The Diocese of Chelmsford Communications Team is here to support you make the most of those opportunities for your church. These pages include advice and guidance on all aspects of communications to help your church communicate effectively with your audiences.
The Communications Team
The Diocese of Chelmsford Communications Team is here to support parishes with their communications. If you need communications advice or you have a good news story to share, we would love to hear from you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Geldard, Director of Communications and Media, tel: 01245 294424
Sarah Newman, Communications Executive, tel: 01245 294443
On this page:
Communications Planning | Copyright | Design Tools and Imagery | Diocesan Logo | Email | Filming and Photography | GDPR | Media Relations | Online Church | Parish Magazines and Church Publications |Promotion and Publicity I Social Media | Websites
A communications plan will help your church engage with its audiences in a clear, consistent, concise and credible way, and achieve your goals, while making efficient use of resources. For advice email email@example.com.
For information and advice about complying with copyright requirements for playing and performing music, showing films, and publishing work online please refer to our briefing note and contact Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI).
Advice about streaming licences can be found on our Online Church Resource Hub.
A free online design tool such as www.canva.com is easy to use and ideal for churches with limited time and budgets. You can use Canva to design, social media graphics posters, logos, certificates, presentations, invites and more. Churches can access Canva Pro, which gives you even more tools to use for free, by applying for a non-profits subscription.
Sites like Unsplash.com contain free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash.
The Chelmsford Diocese Print Unit offers design, print and finishing services and is committed to providing an efficient and friendly service to our churches. The team specialises in booklet production. Their product range includes brochures, order of services, parish & village magazines, newsletters, leaflets, flyers, invitations and stationery. Click here to find out more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The diocesan logo is available to download in a selection of formats. Download the Visual Identity document for design advice.
Email is a great way to stay connected with people in your community. If you want to send emails to large groups of people, using an online mass emailing platform to manage your mailing lists would be beneficial. Advice can be found on our Online Church Resource Hub.
A template photo release forms can be downloaded here.
Commercial filming, photography and sound recording - please contact the Communications Team for advice on filming in churches.
Advice on filming video, live streaming and video editing can be found in our Online Church Resource Hub.
It is important that your church is compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when handling peoples’ personal data. Advice on GDPR for parishes can be found on our website and the Parish Resources website.
This section contains Information about what to do if you've been contacted by the press, advice on writing press releases and engaging with the media proactively about a good news story in your parish.
Writing a Press Release
Press releases remain a good way to communicate with journalists what you have to say. If written well, it will succinctly say what the story is – making their job easier and making it more likely they will use your story. Journalists get hundreds of press releases every day so you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.
Being contacted by the media
If you have been contacted by the press, please let the Diocese of Chelmsford Communications Team know so they are aware and give you any help and guidance on how to respond.
If you have a media emergency out of hours, please call 24 hour mobile 07907910249 and leave your name, telephone number and a brief message. You will be called back.
Digital communications can play a key role supporting many aspects of your mission and ministry; from live streaming services to email newsletters and from supporting stewardship and giving to community outreach.
Our Online Church Resource Hub provides strategic planning and practical advice to help you get the best from digital communications in your own church.
In our Online Church Resource Hub you will find:
- Digital Strategy and planning - how can digital communications support your mission and ministry?
- Video and Live Streaming
- Leading worship with confidence during lockdown
- Social Media
- Online giving
- Safeguarding and digital communication
Parish Magazines are an invaluable opportunity for churches to forge connections with their local area and local residents while providing updates and news from the church.
A collection of free seasonal articles can be downloaded from the Church of England’s Support Hub and customised for parish magazines and other parish communications. Click here and use the search term 'editorial'.
The following websites have advice on editing parish magazines and ideas for content:
Get your Church Noticed
There are a variety of methods churches can use to promote activities and events – as well as information about the Christian faith itself. The book, 100 Ways To Get Your Church Noticed, outlines many of them. But there are also some useful tips on book’s accompanying website - www.getyourchurchnoticed.com. On this site you’ll find helpful advice on everything from church noticeboards to parish magazines, logos to leaflets and websites to social media.
If you have an event at your church you want to advertise, whether it’s a service, youth club, course or social, it’s important that the promotional materials are eye catching and engaging. The blog below from the Church of England explains how you can use the free online graphic design tool, Canva.com to design publicity materials for your church.
Social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc – have opened up new and important opportunities for church communications. Advice on social media can be found on Online Church Resource Hub.
Social media guidelines and digital charter
The Church of England has published social media advice aimed at tackling online abuse, misleading content and encouraging a positive atmosphere for online conversations.
The guidelines encourage positive engagement across all Church of England related social media accounts.
At the same time the Church is urging Christians and others to sign up to a voluntary digital charter aimed at fostering a more positive atmosphere online. The Diocese of Chelmsford has signed up to the charter,
Read more about both here.
Online and Social Media Safeguarding Guidance and Help
- Chapter 12 of the Church of England Safeguarding Handbook (pages 47-50) provides advice on Social Media and Safeguarding
- SAFE - a Metropolitan Police website for young people and adults , giving advice and support on all forms of online abuse. From cyberbullying and sexting to social media stalking and online grooming.
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection website
The first place a person will look to get information about your church is online. Therefore, your church website can play an important part in your communications and profile in the local community.
A Church Near You
A Church Near You (ACNY) is the Church of England's tool for people to find the nearest church to them with the features that they require. Every Church of England church in the country can be found on the site. With more than 10 million page views a year and 85 per cent of visitors going to the site for the first time, ACNY offers a unique evangelism opportunity for Church of England churches. If you have no website at all, this is a good place to start to make sure people can find out essential information about your church.
If you have ownership of your ACNY page you will have access to a wide range of resources for Nation Church Campaigns through the ACNY Resource Hub.
Advice on church websites and A Church Near You can be found on our Online Church Resource Hub.
Diocesan Communications Training
To accompany our Online Church Resource Hub, the Diocesan Communications Team hosted a series of webinars. Each webinar, focuses on a particular theme of digital communications and offered practical advice on areas such as:
- Video and livestreaming
- Zoom and YouTube
- Facebook Live
- E-mail, WhatsApp and websites
Recordings of the webinars can be found here.
We will be advertising a new series of webinars in the coming weeks.
If you have a particular communications training need, please get in touch, email email@example.com.
Church of England Communications Training and Resources
Church of England digital training webinars
The Church of England’s Digital Team are running a series of free webinars to help you use digital communications effectively. Topics range from live streaming, using social media platforms, online giving and much more. Find out more.
Digital Labs Blog
The Church of England’s Digital Labs Blog contains a wealth of information about how your church can make the most of digital communications tools that are available.
Media and communications training from the Church of England
The Church House training programme exists to support members of the church in sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an ever-changing communications environment. The programme is designed to offer high quality affordable courses for individuals and organisations associated with the Church. Find out more.
There are a variety of ways you can keep up to date with the latest news and information from across the diocese:
Parish Communications Newsletter
Our Parish Communications Bulletin is written for anyone who is responsible for church communications, whether digital - websites, social media and e-news or print based - magazines, newsletters and other forms of communication.
Be kept up to date with the latest diocesan and Church of England campaigns and how your parish can get involved. It includes suggested content, good practice, communications advice and training opportunities.
If you would like to receive this bulletin, you can sign up here by selecting the ‘Parish magazine, website and social media resources’ option.
View our latest news and releases on our news page - www.chelmsford.anglican.org/news
Join our mailing list
Get all our latest news delivered to your inbox by signing up to our E-bulletins. We have E-bulletins on a variety of themes so you can keep up to date with the latest news of interest to you.
Follow @chelmsdio on social media:
We love to receive news, photos and videos from our churches and worshiping communities which we can share with others across the diocese. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts so that we can retweet and share!
Other ways you can share with us:
Life across the diocese
If you have a photo you would like to share with us, please upload it, together with a short caption and a link to more information, to the ‘Life across the Diocese’ section of our website. Your photo will then appear in gallery on the homepage of our website - giving a fantastic snapshot of life across our wonderfully diverse diocese!
If you have an event that you would like to promote, you can share it more widely by adding the details to our events calendar.