The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk Christian website named as best in UK

SurefishKMJB1WebNetwork Norwich & Norfolk was today named the best regional church website in the UK in a prestigious new national web competition organized by Christian Aid and The Church Times.
The Surefish.co.uk 2009 Church Website of the Year Awards recognise the best local, regional and national church websites, as well as the best blog, youth website and most innovative site.
The Norfolk-based Christian community website beat off competition from The Diocese of Manchester and Leicester to win the coveted title of Regional Church Website of the Year, alongside other winners including the Church of England national site, Connect Southampton, The Sophia Network and pray-as-you-go.
Website editor Keith Morris collected the award in a presentation ceremony hosted by Songs of Praise TV presenter Pam Rhodes at Christian Aid’s London HQ with John Betts, development officer of Transforming Norwich, one of many partner organisations that the website works alongside.


The website was judged on its design, ease of use, navigation, images, content, engagement with visitors, use of technology and regularity of updates. Judges said of the Norfolk website: “It has original content, is useful to the community and is consistently updated with regular new content. It is a friendly, informative, interactive and well-structured site.” 


SurefishKM1WebKeith Morris (pictured right), who edits the website, alongside web officer Helen Baldry, said: “It is great to get national recognition for our website as we are always looking to develop, innovate and move forward in our work trying to help all parts of the local Christian community connect and communicate both within its different parts and with the wider communities in which they operate.

“Our expansion to cover Norfolk as well as Norwich has obviously paid off and more and more people are visiting and contributing to the website every month,” said Keith.
“We do not intend to rest on our laurels however,” he said. “We are always looking for new ways to help serve the local Christian community, such as our new e-ticketing facility and carrying more audio and video reports. We are always looking for new partners and are happy to talk to any Norfolk-based Christian groups who want us to help them communicate what they are doing more effectively.”
The website, which was launched in October 2005 is backed by local Christian charity Dreams & Visions as well as support from many partner organisations and advertisers.
If you would like to talk to the team behind the website to see how it can help you, or if you have news and events to be promoted, please e-mail keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk

Reepham Benefice website was shortlisted into the final ten for the title of Church Website of the Year in the same competition. The site www.reephambenefice.org.uk, has had 11,000 visitors since it was launched in November 2007. Natasha Osborne, from the website, said: “Our new rector had seen the huge benefits, not simply for church members, but also for a wider audience who could engage with the Christian faith from the comfort of their own homes.”
The full list of winning websites is:

Blog Award

Winner - Jenny Baker, Sophia Network http://blog.sophianetwork.org.uk/

Highly Commended - Church Mouse http://www.churchmousepublishing.blogspot.com/

Unfinished Christian http://unfinishedchristian.wordpress.com/

Innovation award

Pray As You Go www.pray-as-you-go.org

National Church Website

Church of England www.cofe.anglican.org

Regional Church Website Award

Winner – Network Norwich & Norfolk www.networknorwich.co.uk

Highly Commended – Diocese of Manchester www.manchester.anglican.org

Youth Website Award

Connect Southampton – www.connectsouthampton.org

Special awards

USPG – www.uspg.org.uk

Langside Parish Church, Glasgow - www.langsidechurch.co.uk

Local Church Website of the Year

St Andrew's Church, Higher Blackley, Manchester http://st-andrew.co.uk/



Pictured top, are Keith Morris and John Betts collecting the award from Pam Rhodes and Jonathan Bartley, from sponsors Ekklesia.


., 09/07/2009


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