Bit by Bit – Issue 1

Bit by Bit is the new Garth Ministry Area, Digital Communications Newsletter

Watch out, watch out – there’s a Digital Comms Meeting about!

Present were Steve Willson, Ian Yemm, Celia Watchman, Nick Hawkins, Andrew Davies and Ros James (Chair).

We are pleased to announce that Ian Thomas (Radyr) will also be joining us, and look forward to having him on our team. We are currently looking for someone from Taffs Well/Tongwynlais area to join us….so if you are interested, please let us know as we’d love to have you in our team!

Outcomes solve problems

In discussing the needs of the Ministry Area, it became apparent that there were three outcomes needed if we were to succeed. They were:

1. Firstly, was that a new Garth MA website should be developed and all existing church websites become part of the MA’s. This has its benefits, as to achieve this requires collaboration across our MA and that has already started.

2. Secondly, as parishioners we all do similar activities (e.g. work hard to keep our churches well maintained, apply for grants, book out our Halls etc) and can all benefit by sharing resources and not ‘reinventing the wheel’. To this end, a single, digital storage system (similar to our own PCs we have at home, but on a larger scale) is needed to share our information. This will also benefit our Clergy too, as they will need to share information to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

3. Finally, more and more people are using social media to communicate. We recognise that whilst newsletters and magazines undoubtedly have their place in maintaining good communications, we need to embrace social media to reach out to many more people.

So these three areas will be the focus for the Digital Communication Team (DCT) for the near future, with our initial energies being expended on our websites and that of our MA!
During a meeting in May 2022, our Ministry Area Council (MAC) determined there was a need to set up a team, to take forward all of the initiatives and changes we need to
help us with our communications. So with a number of volunteers, the Digital Communications Team (DCT) was formed! Our first meeting was held on 23rd of August and
consisted of people from across the Ministry Area (MA).

Information Architecture – where ‘stuff’ lives

On 30th August, two of our people met to discuss/develop an Information Architecture (technical term but it means ‘where stuff lives!). It took about two hours and we generated a lot of postit notes on the back of an old wallpaper roll – all very high tech here! A draft document has been produced and sent out to the DCT for approval. This will be discussed and agreed (or changed!) at the next meeting on 5th October….watch this space!

Digital Storage – Fits the Bill

Our DCT identified the need for a single storage area to facilitate collaborative working across the MA. In exploring what opportunities were out there, we contacted the Diocese who put us in touch with churches in the Cardiff area who were using a package which may meet our needs. Over the coming weeks, our team will carry out site visits to determine how the software is performing. We hope to have some feedback by early October.

Stay cool with social media

It’s always sensible to recognise when and where we fall short of the appropriate skills to carry out tasks and after some keen discussions at the DCT, we realised that for us to be able to utilise social media to its best, this was such a case. So a big dilemma is…..who can pick up this work on our behalf? If any readers know who might fit the bill and be able to help us out, please do get in touch with any of the DCT or your Vicar who will pass the message on to the team.

We should say that there are strict guidelines set out by the Church in Wales as to the use of social media on behalf of our Ministry Area, so it is going to be a responsible task for anyone to take on, and the guidelines will need to be followed closely.

Stop-Go-New Logo!

As we’re in the process of designing a new MA website, we also need to come up with a new logo. The new logo will be on our new web pages, and any newsletters, letters etc.,
that we need to create. One suggestion has been that it somehow reflects the Garth Mountain, but we are open to suggestions. So, if we have any budding Graphic Designers
in our midst…we need your help please!