Bishop Hollis to launch major parish website initiative

 Bishop Crispian Hollis, chairman of the Communications Committee for the Catholic Bishops Conference is launching CathCom 'Websites for Parishes' this Wednesday at 4.30pm in Westminster Cathedral Hall. Under the scheme, parishes and organisations will be able to easily build and maintain their own websites, as well as link into other networks. Designer Nick Layton, explained: "Information from one site is stored and can be re-used by others. For example, a deanery website would want to contain all the information about its parishes. Rather than having one set of information for each parish website and a second set for the parishes' entries in the deanery site, the one source of information would be used in both places. When a parish or organisation updates its information it is updated on every site it appears on. In the case of the Deanery website, the webmaster would only have to link the parishes to their site- and it would be automatically kept up to date by updates to the parish websites." He said: "In turn, parish websites can include their parish groups, which are directly maintained by someone in each group. This means the website can include more information without it becoming unmanageable. The system is designed so anyone can update and design their own website without any prior website experience". CathCom has received support from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Communications Committee for the Catholic Bishops, Conference of England and Wales, and many Bishops and Priests. Bishop Tom Burns said: "For some time, I have searched in vain for the very kind of Church internet facility that CathCom has now come up with. What makes it attractive is that it is simple to set up and maintain. Yet, whilst making a basic package available, it can also be adapted to add extra functions according to local needs. As a communication tool, it is second-to-none." Fr Tony Lester O Carm, Prior Provincial of the British Province of Carmelites said: "The 'Websites for Parishes' system looks set to be a major resource for parishes and religious communities. Well done to CathCom for their imagination and hard work in realising this project. Communication builds community and I am sure that this new system will aid the Church in its ongoing mission of communicating the Good News of Jesus Christ." Bishop Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham, said: " St Paul, on his missionary journeys used the web and network of trading ports as he sailed around the Mediterranean. If he were alive today, he would certainly commend this initiative of pressing the modern web into the service of the Gospel. I support this venture and wish it every success. May it enable parishes to grow closer together, and so be more energizing signs of the Gospel in today's world." For more information, or to attend the launch, contact: Nick Layton on: 01 959 569 589; 07005 800 830 (24hr) or e-mail:

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