The National Churches Trust (NCT) is, as the name suggests, like the National Trust, but for churches. They aim “to develop a high-quality resource for visitors and churches, supporting and promoting a beautiful collection of fascinating places to visit.”
To this end, NCT decided to separate its Explore Churches resource from the main site. The NCT recognised that a well-designed, standalone digital product would be key for long-term user engagement and growing their audiences. Consequently, they planned and budgeted for an ongoing digital partnership to last until 2024, with several phases of site expansion.
As Explore Churches already had a web presence, we were tasked with updating and enhancing the existing design – particularly the homepage and UI – as well as adding several new features. High priorities were improving the map functionality, adding a filterable events listing and implementing a flexible page builder template.
The new Explore Churches site needed to engage committed church crawlers (people who avidly visit churches and will seek them out), while also tapping into the huge audience of ramblers and culturally engaged individuals who might pop into churches on a walk or visit them on a city break. As well as looking beautiful, it needed to provide a clear return on investment to secure its ongoing viability.