by ROWENA OREJANA
CHRISTCHURCH — Website administrator Graeme Scott is building a one-stop online shop
for information on parish events and Mass times, as well as resources for developing the faith.
Mr Scott is developing his one-stop shop by revitalising the Faith Ministry Development
Mr Scott, who grew the number of visitors to Christchurch’s Christ the King parish website from six or seven views a week to about 1400 a week when he was the administrator, said he believes the Church is not using social media enough to proclaim the Good News.
“As a Church, many of us are not using the media and social media enough to get our Good
News message out, especially to young people. And where do you find them? The web, Facebook,
Mr Scott added that most parish websites function just as an electronic brochure.
“It is important that websites are kept current if you want people to come back again and
again. While looking at parish websites, I found that many contain only basic information and
no current information,” he said.
Many parish website developers do not understand the needs of the parishes. “I believe it
is important that the parish can upload material to their website without any web building experience,” he explained.
He said that when his time with the Christ the King parish came to an end, many people said
they missed the information he put there. This is the reason why he is rebuilding his own website.
Mr Scott and his wife, Hanka, developed the Faith Development Ministry (FDM) website in 1992
while living in the United Kingdom. Its aim was to encourage Christians in spiritual growth.
They became involved with Catholic Evangelisation Services there and have seen the development
of the Catholic Faith Exploration (CaFE) programme.
“Until now, this site was dedicated specifically to CaFE resources, of which FDM are the New
Zealand representatives,” he said.
He said he got the idea of putting in Mass times while travelling in Europe. “I looked on the
website of a parish to find the times and arrived in time to miss Mass, as they had changed their time. Also, I had to look at a number of sites to find one near me. I thought it
would be handy if all of that information was in one place,” he said.
In New Zealand, he has Mass times for Christchurch diocese but plans to extend that to cover
all New Zealand. “What I hope to do is keep this current for New Zealand by checking periodically with parishes to confirm I have the correct information. It would be
helpful if parishes would advise of any changes.”
Mr Scott welcomes feedback as to what people would like to see in it and how it can be