• When should a church consider closing in light of increasing rates of Coronavirus?

    Read the latest advice from the United Reformed Church (URC) about when a church should consider closing due to increases in Coronavirus rates.

    At this stage, it is not possible based on infection rates or other criteria to give a definite point at which a local URC should close as Covid-19 rates increase.

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  • Writing for the web and Search Engine Optimisation

    Writing for the web and SEO cover RGBv2A free guide to help you write for the web and maximise the reach of your online content by improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 

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  • Updated guidance for reopening URC children's and youth work

    Following recent changes in government guidance and restrictions announced on 12 October, the United Reformed Church has produced a framework for those considering reopening gathered groups for children and youth work.

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  • Limits on attending weddings, funerals and other acts of worship

    Read the latest advice from the United Reformed Church about the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other acts of worship in England, Scotland and Wales.

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  • NHS Test & Trace App (England and Wales)

    The NHS Test & Trace app was launched on 24 September for England and Wales. In Scotland, the Protect Scotland contact tracing app is part of the NHS Scotland Test & Protect system, and it detects other people with the app installed on their smart phone being in close proximity.

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  • Crisis Communications Plan for Local Churches

    A free guide to crisis communications for churches.

    Crisis communication is an essential element of disaster ministry. A little bit of preparation now can go a long way in ensuring everything goes more smoothly at your church when disaster strikes.

    This plan aims to support Ministers, Elders and staff to provide best practice tips for dealing with local media, identify key appropriate contacts, and a strategy for agreeing media statements.

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  • URC guidance for children’s and youth work coming out of lockdown

    This is a free guide for all churches, groups and settings of the URC that deliver direct work with children and young people.

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  • The URC Visual Identity Guide

    Visual Identity GuideA free guide to help churches and church organisations follow the URC's visual identity.

    What is a visual identity guide? 

    Why are style guides important? They ensure brand consistency throughout any materials you produce – no matter who created it.

    How much time does it take to explain to a designer how much space you need around your logo at all times? And how they’re not supposed to change any of the colours? What about finding every font you use and having to relay that to them as well? Not to mention explaining the type of imagery that is acceptable. This guide helps answer some of those questions.

    This visual identity guide contains the necessary information to create whatever your church needs. Whether it be a poster, church newsletter, website, or other materials.

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  • Livestreaming your church service: some options

    Livestreaming your church servicesA free guide to help you livestream your church service. 

    What is livestreaming?

    Live streaming is the broadcasting of real-time video and audio to an audience over the internet, this can be done on a variety of platforms from a number of devices.

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  • Doing Online Differently - a roadmap for digital discipleship

    Doing online differentlyA free guide to help you navigate your church's digital journey.

    The importance of digital

    We’ve talked for years about the need to “do church differently”, and the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to do just that! Lockdown has shown us that our online life as churches is neither second-best nor an afterthought: it is a vital part of how we live, worship and engage in mission.

    We need to think about an online presence in terms of community-building – interactive, mutually beneficial and adding value to visitors’ lives.

    A digital space, in other words, for a shared journey of discipleship. The fellowship, inclusion and connection that are made possible by the technology are also demanded by the call to follow Jesus faithfully in today’s world.

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  • Quick Guide: Covid-19 and Safeguarding

    Quick guide to Covid-19 and Safeguarding A free guide to Covid-19 and safeguarding for churches and church organisations.

    During the pandemic, the pressures placed upon local churches have risen significantly and this has led to an increase in the need to protect people from different forms of harm and abuse.

    Here is a quick guide to what you can do to offer support whilst continuing to serve the needs of your communities.

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  • Online and contactless giving at local churches

    Online and contacless givingA free guide for churches that are considering using contactless giving to avoid passing an offertory plate and handling cash due to increased risks from Coronavirus. 

    As well as the now well established method of setting up a bank standing order for giving to the local church, some more technological solutions are being used by a number of churches.

    None of methods outlined here are offered as recommendations – this is just a survey of some of the means already in use. Prices, fees, commission on transactions and other terms may be changed, and churches are strongly advised to check the details are current and correct before committing to any particular path.

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  • A guide to Zoom etiquette

    Guide Zoom etiquette cover rgbA free guide to help you run Zoom meetings more effectively.

    The information covers things to consider and check before setting up or joining a meeting, using Zoom's features to contribute to a meeting, as well as other useful hints and tips. 

    Please note that this is a work in progress – if we have learning points to add, this content will be updated.

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  • New reality, same Mission: a stimulus to renewed community engagement as we emerge from the pandemic

    New reality cover RGB

    A free booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

    The URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, have produced a new booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

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  • Zoom Breakout Rooms – a guide for churches

    Zoom Breakout Rooms

    A free guide to help you set up Zoom Breakout Rooms for your church or church organisation.  

    What are Zoom Breakout Rooms? 

    The Breakout Rooms feature is unique to Zoom, and what makes Zoom the ideal platform for moving church online. It is what transforms an online meeting into genuine fellowship, and means you can have real, in-depth conversations as well as mingling with a host of other people. If you’re active with church online during the lockdown and haven’t discovered them the feature, you don’t know what you’re missing!

    The Breakout Rooms feature allows you as the host to allocate a large group of participants into breakout rooms in whatever size groups they want, either by drawing up the room lists yourself, or allowing the software to allocate groups automatically.

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  • Using Zoom securely - guidance for churches

    using zoom securily cover

    A free guide to using Zoom securely for churches and church organisations. 

    What is Zoom?

    Zoom has become the go-to platform of choice for people to connect with one another during the Coronavirus lockdown. It is being used by individuals, families, businesses, universities, schools and the British Cabinet to host meetings and keep in touch.

    Zoom reports that the number of accounts has jumped from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March this year.

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  • Setting up an Instagram account

    Setting up an Instagram account

    A free guide to help you set up an Instagram account for your church or church organisation. 

    What is Instagram?

    Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook.

    The app allows users to upload photos, graphics and videos, which can be edited with filters and organised with hashtags and location information and posted to your account. You can also choose to allow your posts to be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. 

    Instagram users can search for content using hashtags, locations or by seeing what’s trending on the platform. You can follow different accounts and like or comment on their content if you wish.

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  • Virtual funerals - liturgies and words for our digital world

    Virtual Funerals Guide

    A free guide to help churches and church organisations understand virtual funerals.

    How this guide can help 

    This is not intended to be a definitive collection of resources, but will hopefully give you a starting place with words and ideas that could be useful for you, or to pass on to family members. Please tailor to the needs of your situation.

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  • Getting to grips with copyright

    Getting to grips copyright image

    A free guide to help churches and church organisations understand copyright. 

    Why is copyright important? 

    Copyright is complicated and not following it can result in you breaking the law! We hope this free guide, which, whilst not claiming to be a definitive guide, will help you navigate your way through the potential minefield of copyright law and how it affects churches.

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  • How to use Facebook, Youtube and Zoom to record and broadcast church acts of worship

    Facebook Youtube zoom cover

    A free guide to using Facebook, Youtube and Zoom to record and broadcast acts of worship from your church or church organisation. 

    Why record acts of worship? 

    There are times such as now during the Coronavirus outbreak when people will be unable to attend church services and all church events are cancelled.

    It's during these periods that recording and broadcasting acts of worship is one of the many things a church can do to stay in contact with its congregation and local community.  

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