Do you visit the St James’ Church website at all?
Yes, you must – if you’re reading this, of course.
If you do, do you ever do that for the purpose of seeing the most recent week’s Sunday service materials?
It would be good to get some feedback. We generally receive little or no feedback.
By way of background…
Prior to lockdown in March 2020, the usual system was that the sermon was printed on the website along with the 4 main lectionary readings and the sermon was also downloadable as a PDF.
Going back to 2017, for example, most of the PDF versions have been downloaded in excess of 150 times and some of them a lot more than that (e.g. Who is welcome in church? – 5 July 2017 – 238 downloads up to 04 August 2021).
From March 2020, initially, we moved to a system of Geoff (our Minister – Rev. Geoff McKee) recording the sermon as an MP3 audio. There was no longer a text download available although the Congregational Board (the ‘managers’ of the Church) received the sermon and prayers in PDF format and some of these were delivered to other members of the congregation.
Latterly, when it became possible or close to possible for us to return to worship in the church, Geoff recorded whole services which initially were purely spoken word but most recently have included singing.
There are pros and cons with all these different approaches and formats.
The benefit of the audio service was that it could all be prepared and be ready to publish for first thing on a Sunday morning. Arguably, audio has benefits over video because you can listen to audio, for example, while you’re driving in your car, whereas you can’t watch a video (or, at least, you shouldn’t).
Since video became available as a “service format”, it has required much more separate “attendances” during the week to set up the webpage and it also means that the service is not finally published until into Sunday afternoon – and often Sunday evening. It’s not possible to be categorical about this but the monthly website visitor numbers were around 700 when we were on the audio service version and we are now at around 450 with the video service version.
The videos of the services can also be viewed directly, apart from on this website.
You just go to the church’s YouTube channel/page.
Going from Pentecost Sunday 2021 up to 04 August 2021, the respective views of each video service have been: 21; 17; 31; 9; 31; 18; 23; 27; 15; 19.
Video services are all in the region of 40 to 55 minutes in length and it’s possible that the length of service puts people off (compared to, say, the MP3 audio sermons which were around 10 – 15 minutes in length).
It could also be a factor that the “video” service is often not available on the website until Sunday evening and we can’t expect people to be checking back on the website and the YouTube channel regularly during a Sunday to see whether the service has yet been published.
Would you be willing to give us feedback about what you find helpful on the website and what preferences / suggestions you have?
We see the website as potentially a “ministry to the whole world”.
So your opinion is valid whether you attend St James’ Church or live in Lossiemouth or Moray or Scotland or beyond.
We would very much like to know what you find useful about this website and any changes you would suggest, especially in relation to the publication of church services, but really as regards ‘anything’.
“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”Proverbs 18:4