The 10 Commandments of Using Images on Church Websites

old camera photograph1 – Thou shalt remember that a burning candle is not the only image of all that is holy and all that is true.

2 – Thou shalt not put the vulnerable at risk by revealing their identity and location.

3 – Thou shalt remember when using pictures of people that the Lord thy God made them in great and glorious diversity.

4 – Thou shalt not waste bandwidth and so shall learn how to reduce the size of thy photographs tenfold, fiftyfold or even a hundredfold.

5 – Thou shalt not use photographs of church meetings to illustrate the life of the church for to believe that the meetings of the church represent the life and joy that the Lord thy God brings unto thee is to have heard and believed the lies of the Evil One.

6 – Thou shalt not use photographs of groups of people where half the people have their backs unto the camera.

7 – Thou shalt not include more than one photograph of the bishop (or the moderator, the pope or the Lord High Executioner of Titipu) standing around in robes next to other people standing around in robes.

8 – Thou shalt love thy neighbour’s photographs as thine own, by setting up a Flickr group for them to post their images to so that you have a greater range of photographs to use on thy church website.

9 – Thou shalt respect the copyright of every image that thou shalt use and give credit where it is due.

10 – Thou shalt change thine images once in a while for to worship one image alone is not merely idolatry but risks the masses believing that the house of the Lord thy God is dull. And dullness is the sin against the Holy Ghost whereof many have spoken.

Photo Credit: Afonso Lima of Brazil

If you’ve any further commandments – do chip in with them in the comments.  “Why just 10?” as Moses said as he staggered down the mountain…

What’s on your church website right now?

Just a gentle reminder that people are looking for church services and Christmas events to go to right now. (Yes, right this minute. Today. Really.) It is worth asking what they will find if they go to your church website.

One of the things that astonished me last Christmas was hearing people at St Mary’s saying that they had come to us because their local churches were not having any Christmas events or services.

“Oh yes they are!” I replied in true panto style.

“Oh no they’re not!” they replied, “we’ve looked, there’s nothing on their websites”.

The time in the year when people are most eager to try out a new church and most welcome invitations to church seems to be around Christmas. Can I suggest that everyone reading this take a look at their own local church website and if they don’t find the details of the Christmas services prominently displayed, get hold of whoever does their website and very gently and lovingly and with every ounce of Christian compassion you can muster, bend their ear.

That includes those responsible for diocesan websites which give a page to each of their churches. Remember, if those pages are there, google may well find them first. If people find webpages which list churches where the latest news is any older than last month (never mind last year) and where the words “No events at present” are shown in the week before Christmas, it might be said that you can’t really blame them for not turning up.

Times of Christmas services at St Mary’s can be found here. Note that they don’t follow the same pattern as last year. We’re living on the edge, we are. 

Right on the edge.