This website is the online presence for the Kent Downs and Malling Team Benefice. The Team Ministry includes the seven parishes of St Margaret’s church in Addington, All Saints church in Birling, Ss Peter & Paul’s church in Leybourne, St Michael & All Angels church in Offham, St Martin’s church in Ryarsh, St Peter & St Paul’s church in Trottiscliffe and St Mary-the-Virgin church in West Malling.
This website is intended to provide basic ‘brochure’ level information for those looking to join us for Sunday worship or other activities that we organise, as well as those seeking help with the occasional offices of baptisms, weddings and funerals. It also provides news and up-to-date information regarding current events which our churches either organise or in which we participate.
The site is updated approximately once a week.
Web site maintenance
This web site is operated and run by volunteers from the church communities in our seven parishes.
Web site design
This is the second iteration of a web presence for our church communities. Prior to our merger as a Team in 2022, many of our parishes had their own separate web presences. A number of web site domains point towards this website in order to help each parish maintain its own local identity and service to its own local community.
Our website was built using the open-source and freely available CMS, WordPress. Although WordPress started as just a blogging system, it has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes built by members of that open source community.
WordPress represents an excellent choice for a church website that is being run on a shoestring because we get fabulous expertise from across the world via the open-source community and without any subscription fees to pay. Because it is a Content Management system, it also means that the addition of new material can be made by volunteers without technical expertise, and they can make updates without any fears of ‘breaking’ the website.
On top of the WordPress CMS, we laid a front-end design based upon the Milton theme by Dumitru Brinzan at ilovewp.com. Milton is a responsive theme that adapts to the size of the screen. It was chosen to help ensure the website works reasonably well on a range of devices including smartphones, tablet devices and full-screen computers.
This separation of front-end design from content is good practice in web design in that it enables us to make easy changes to the content or design at a later date without having to worry about too much about its knock-on impact. Isolating content from design makes adding or updating things easy while maintaining the design consistency of the site. Isolating design from content simplifies design changes prevents slight design adjustments becoming a full-fledged redesign.1