Farm Street Parish Website

Farm Street Church, London

400%
Increase in visitors
50%
Decrease in bounce rate

Redeveloping the website of a vibrant Jesuit parish at the heart of London.

Case Study

Introduction

An exciting opportunity to showcase one of the UK’s most beautiful and dynamic Catholic Churches in the heart of London. We worked closely with parish leaders to bring this community online in a marriage of research, great design and artful photography.

As a company, Peter’s House began by building beautiful, easy to navigate websites for parishes, and this is still a service we love to provide. In 2019 we were approached by the parish priest of Farm Street Church to launch a brand new site for their parish. This was an exciting opportunity - Farm Street Church is known to be one of the most beautiful churches in the UK and it functions as the head office of the Jesuits in Britain. Farm Street Church opened its doors in 1849 as the Jesuits’ flagship city centre London church and for 170 years it has been a vibrant place of worship at the heart of London. As a parish, mass attendance is very high, however as it is a city parish, over half of the weekly congregation can be visitors. We felt honoured to take on a project for a church with so much history and to showcase it to the online world.

Goals

With parish websites we are always keen to capture the life of the community as best we can. We wanted to capture the beauty of Farm Street as a building whilst also showing that the people of the parish are an invitational community of Christ centred people.

We also aimed to provide a platform that could relay reliable and easily accessible information to the roughly 10,000 weekly visitors to the site. It was then important to us that this be a platform that the priests of Farm Street could minister to their congregation through, whether by written word or video - we wanted it to be easily updatable and regularly populated with fresh content.

A unique challenge we faced was defining the life of the parish from the work of Farm Street as the head office of all the Jesuits of Britain - being very clear about the separation between this and parish life helped us get a handle on the project.

Strategy

We knew that to really show the life of the parish we would need quality photography and film. To capture the images and footage we needed, we sent one of our photographers there for three Sundays of masses. Translating the look and feel of the parish to the new website, we also developed the new colour scheme from the colours of the church itself.

At the same time, we worked closely alongside Fr Dominic the parish priest, to understand what his parishioners needed whilst also examining the analytics of the previous site, getting a clear sense of what was working and what was not. We then to make the administration of the site easier for those maintaining the site who we found out were having their time consumed by uploading newsletters that very few read online.

The Results

Launched on the first day of Advent, we have had incredibly positive feedback about the Farm Street site and have seen an overall increase in site traffic. Fr Dominic’s newsletter has found new life as a blog and administrators are now able to keep the site up to date, helping the site to be less static and much more lively.

In the time of Coronavirus, the site has been used heavily for video as, alongside the livestreams of services, many of the priests involved in the parish now upload their own videos to the site. We would encourage you to visit the site and discover for yourself this gem of Catholicism in the heart of London.

‘“All for the greater glory of God!”’ - St Ignatius of Loyola