Launched in 2022, the Trust was delighted to work in partnership with the National Churches Trust (NCT) and colleagues from the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture (CSCC) at the University of York to develop the digital heritage apprenticeship scheme. This was an exciting opportunity for students to work with churches to review, recommend and develop a stronger digital presence online.
Students offered training in social media approaches, but very much encouraged to start ‘where churches are’, to develop a presence or content that would be sustainable for the church to maintain. Many churches opted to improve their presence on the National Churches Trust’s EXPLORE website, providing engaging content and improved information about facilities and opening times, with attractive photographs and in some cases, short leaflets or recommendations for the ‘Top Ten Things to See’. It was also pointed out that there was no entry for Yorkshire (surely God’s own County?) on the ‘North Country’ section of the EXPLORE site. All these entries are now being processed by NCT, so do look out for updated pages for Burton in Lonsdale, Thornton in Lonsdale, Huddersfield parish church and Skipwith – coming soon! Thornton in Lonsdale has now seized the publicity initiative and got some great publicity for their recently-completed programme of improvements and restoration, funded by YHCT and NCT: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/who-we-are/news/yorkshire-dales-church-transformed-after-twelve-years-of-fundraising-and-care.php In addition, some churches wanted to develop a little more ambitious content. Skelbrooke St Michael for example, wanted to create a stronger online presence including a new photographic survey of the church and the medieval grave slabs which could help them celebrate the 150th anniversary of their rebuilding which you can find on A Church Near You:
https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/17629/news/7541/2022-heritage-project/ and a Facebook page as well.
Doncaster Minster wanted to refresh its Twitter feed and signpost people to its to You Tube channels (Doncaster Minster). Huddersfield parish church is now launching the first of a series of social media posts linked across their existing Facebook and Twitter accounts, and longer blog posts, such as this on Our War Memorials – Huddersfield Parish Church They plan to release their content – created by students Kate Harris and Ethel Misquitta (see in the image below) leading up to participation in Yorkshire Churches Day this September, as do all our YHCT Digital Apprentice partner churches.