, the website for the Norwich
Christian community, was named as the Best Regional Religious Website
in the whole country at the prestigious national church media awards just nine months after its launch.
The website won the accolade at the well-known Andrew Cross Awards run by the Churches Media Council at a ceremony near Derby in June 2006. It was also named as runner-up in the Community Media category, competing against local radio and television stations.
The website, which currently attracts around 200,000 page visits every month, aims to be a first port of call for anyone wanting to keep in touch with the latest news, information and debate from the Norwich Christian community on the internet. It was this focus which won it the two accolades.
The panel of judges said the website deserved to win because if its interactivity and very clear sense of its users. “Technicallly interesting it held the judges far beyond the first few pages,” said the citation. “The site carries users without losing focus and offers a two-way relationship with them. It shows a very real sense of community and also commitment to its city community.”
Network Norwich communications officer Keith Morris
, the driving force behind the website, said: “I am delighted that the website has been recognized at a national level so soon after its launch. There is a wealth of up-to date information on the site and it has a weekly e-newsletter and the chance for everyone to contribute. The aim of the site is to improve communication and connections within the Norwich Christian community and the judges obviously thought that we have started off well."
Network Norwich held off competition from sites in Nottingham, Bristol and Ely to win the Regional Website of the Year title and was pipped at the post by Jubilee FM in the Community Media category.
Other winners included BBC local radio stations, the Churches Advertising Network, The Baptist Times, Woman Alive and The Guardian.
Keith, who collected the trophy from well-known actress and CMC president Prunella Scales, can also claim what he believes may be a unique treble, having in past years also been shortlisted for awards in both local religious newspaper and local religious broadcasting classes with Good News for Norwich, of which he is editor, and a faith show on Radio Broadland when he was a news reporter.
The annual Andrew Cross Awards are for local and regional religious broadcasting, religious video production, web site design, and national and regional religious press.