'Easiest evangelism now even easier'
The popular website www.christianity.org.uk has relaunched with a brand new look for 2020 – and every church has been encouraged to link it
The CEA (Christian Enquiry Agency) charity has worked with professional Christian writers and web developers to completely rewrite and redesign the website.
Visitors will find all new, longer form content about the Christian faith, beautiful imagery, specially commissioned artwork, and up-to-date answers to the kinds of questions about spirituality and identity that people are asking.
They can also engage in meaningful conversations online with a real Christian through the new conversation feature.
The site remains completely free to link to from church websites and materials, meaning the newly refreshed website is going to make “the easiest evangelism even easier”, according to CEA.
We are now in a culture that feels ‘safer than ever to ask questions on a website’, explained CEA chair, Revd Dr. Jo Cox-Darling at the website’s official launch last Tuesday (11 February).
‘We're going to make it even easier for enquirers to have email conversations online with a real-life Christian. We listen as well as talk, don’t judge, and give a balanced Christian view. And we converse with people for as long as they want to, and no longer.’
Many had either come to faith or moved significantly in their faith journey through the website, those at the launch heard. These included angry ex-Christians now engaged in respectful conversation, students wanting to find a church and those with a Muslim background exploring the Christian faith.
One the website’s responders is Baptist minister Kathryn Morgan, the CEA company secretary.
She said, ‘I have been directly involved with the CEA for a decade, beginning when I was the Baptist representative from the BUGB Mission Department at the time when the Agency moved into the digital age with its first website. Immediately, I was amazed by how many people came to the website asking questions they felt they couldn't pose personally by entering a church or seeking out a minister. Following my retirement, as I became one of the responders, I was in touch with more non-Christians than I had ever been as a local pastor.
‘Becoming the Company Secretary when the CEA became an independent charity and company in 2013, it has been exciting to see its ecumenical basis maintained but increasing digital expertise coming onto the trustee board.
‘This has culminated in our brand-new website style, backed up by sophisticated analytics that show us, for example, what people really want to know about and how long they stay on each page. This is already paying dividends in that people are lingering longer as we put up more new pages. At the same time, the personal way of responding to people, the passing on of prayer requests to our prayer partners, the advice about finding a nearby church, and the sending out of attractive gospels free within the UK remains the same.
‘It would be wonderful if every Baptist church added the link to our URL, www.christianity.org.uk, to their website and on every public document. I want to commend this free service that offers such an easy form of evangelism.’
Baptist theologian the Revd Dr Helen Paynter has been working as the website’s commissioning editor since January.
She said, ‘It's great to be involved with this exciting and important project. For many people nowadays, the internet is the first place to turn to for answers, so it's vital that there is a good quality resource out there to help with this. Christianity.org is measured, balanced and fair in the way it represents the breadth of Christian belief and practice.
‘I know the previous version of the website was very successful in its capacity to engage and inform, and I am confident that the new, redesigned version will be even more effective.’