The Gathering: An Experiment in Church
At North Winchester Community Church we’ve been discussing the idea of a ‘new’ type of service, once a month, on Sunday evening’s, around the theme of a Pub Church (within the style of Fresh Expressions).
So, welcome to “The Gathering“, to which you can find out more details on the website, launched last night! I am naturally a night owl, and gained inspiration after our inaugural test-run on Sunday, as to where I could see this website fitting in a bit more… not that any of us really know how this service is going to turn out, as the whole point is that it’s experimental, and ready to be shaped by its members! The website is therefore fairly experimental and more explicitly a ‘work in progress’ than other sites that I have done.
The blog is structured with 3 basic pages for static content: what is the gathering about?; who can people contact to find out more?; where can people continue the discussions? For the remainder of the blog, the expectation is that the remainder of the entries will be blog/diary entries, listed in reverse order, with strong use of keywords/categories (although as we’re so experimental, these aren’t entirely clear, but we will monitor their evolvement) to allow visitors to filter the content that they desire. Of course, it wouldn’t be one of my sites without search (apparently the online world used to be 50% search, 50% through navigation… I think that balance has tipped in favour of searchers!)
Pressrow by Chris Pearson, a nice clean design, which allowed me to design my own header (using a collage of images from sxc.hu), and appears to have the features we need. The current NWCC site is moving across to self-hosted WordPress, so this may end up upon here, we’ll see how transferable it is, but I think it shows up the stunning pictures well!
This is my first attempt at using WordPress for a multi-author blog, but we want to get at least the organising group involved in blogging on the site, and then encourage others to engage and comment upon the site – maybe we need a touch of the polemical topics!
Other than the blog itself, we have set up a Twitter feed, a Facebook group, YouTube (no content yet) and Delicious (also no content), which seems approrpriate for a church which plans to not base itself around ‘sermons’, but other styles of discussion and interaction – including mix/match of online/offline…. as we said, all very experimental!
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.