The Internet provides an exciting means to tell our stories. We hope that every Parish and Group within our Methodist and Co-operative Venture Family will be able to contribute to and benefit from this website.
The website is based on a content management system, which allows authorised users to have complete control over their sections of the site. You don't need to have know about web design programmes. If you can use a word processor, then you are on the way to being on the web.
While the site is free to authorised users, a charge of $25 per annum will be made if your pages exceed 1MB in size. Most users will not even get close to this.
Why have a presence on the site?
- The internet is history's fastest growing communications medium. More and more people are gaining access to the web. For churches with something to say, the internet allows us to say it in our own words.
- Each parish will have a page of basic information, service times, location, how to make contact. If you cannot do this, we will do it for you. But we invite you to have much more. To share who you are and your stories of 'good news'.
- The first step in deciding what will go on your pages is to ask the question, "What about our church is meaningful and interesting to others?" Is this not the starting point for effective mission?
- Who do you hope will read your pages? Design your pages for them. A page for children will not be the same as a age for in-depth Bible study.
- What do you want to say? Is your church about buildings or people? What impression do you want to give.
Remember the best way to communicate ideas is through telling how people live them out
- Share your success stories
- tell your vision
- invite response.
The website has been designed to maintain the privacy of individuals.
- Where possible use the Church address and phone/ fax not home phones and addresses.
- The enquiry form hides the e-mail address from unauthorised users and allows e-mails to be redirected to your personal or Church e-mail. It is not necessary to display personal e-mails.
- Allow enquiries about all parts of the churches life to come through the enquiry form.
- Children and young people under the age of 18 should not be identified by surname or other personal details. These details include e-mail or postal addresses, telephone or fax numbers.
- When using photographs of children and young people, it is preferable to use group pictures. When a photograph of an individual child or young person is used, surnames or other personal details should not be used in any caption.
- Obtain written and specific consent from parents or carers before using photographs on a website
- Care must be taken when advertising special events for children and young people.
- Invite people to use the contact form to get the full details rather than display every detail on the site.
NOTE: Your pages can have a password protected area where members can go for information. The privacy restrictions outlined above will not be so critical in the private area.
Publishing and Copyright Matters
All material published on the internet is subject to the same laws as that published in a church magazine or any other media.
Legislation relating to the internet and other publishing includes but is not restricted to matters such as:
- malicious falsehood
- contempt of court
- identification of children and young people involved in legal proceedings
- identification of victims of sexual attacks
- official secrets
- referring to spent convictions
- race relations
- election law, including statements about political parties and election candidates
- advertising of gambling
- breach of confidence
- data protection
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list nor a legal definition.
The penalties for breaking the law can be severe, and an offence can be committed whether the breach is intentional or not. Publications reporting matters involving legal proceedings, or copying or quoting material from other people, or that could be construed by organisations or individuals as defamatory, are at an especially high risk of litigation.
If in any doubt, leave it out or take professional legal advice. Ignorance of the law does not count as a defence for breaking it.
This information is intended as a general warning only, and should not be relied upon as a statement of the law on any matter.