Founded in 1954 through the ministry of Francis Schaeffer in Switzerland. The International Presbyterian Church was closely associated with L’Abri, Schaeffer’s better-known ministry among sceptical and doubting young people, which was founded in 1955. Two congregations were planted in England: in Ealing, London, in 1969, and in Liss, a small village in Hampshire, in 1972. Both were led by Ranald Macaulay (Schaeffer’s son-in-law) and continue to exist today.
Reflecting it’s ‘international’ nature, the IPC currently has two presbyteries in the UK (British and Korean), a proto-Presbytery in Europe, which currently meets with the British Presbytery, and one Presbytery in South Korea.
Since the early 2000’s the denomination has seen growth, and alongside this is a desire to present a more modern public image.
I was contacted by the team at the IPC to design and build a new contemporary website with multiple facets; public information about the IPC, it’s history, church congregations, information and contact details, a resource library of talks, articles, papers and books and a members section with further resources and files.
The overall design takes a very clean and clear angle, using modern techniques to ensure the site looks similar across devices. Focussing on clear typography that ensures readability without becoming cold, this is combined with strong, large images to provide a rich canvas that offers clean presentation of sometimes dense and complex information.
There are three key sections of interest, firstly the churches and locations pages, which utilises advanced maps to pinpoint church locations in the UK, Europe and Korea. All of this resizes and realigns for mobile and tablet devices and users can select locations on maps or in a list to discover the full details and links to member churches.
The second section of note are the public resources which can be filtered and refined by type. The books section is displayed as a minimal bookshelf and the titles flip as users tap or hover. From the reverse side users can find more details or order directly online a copy of the book.
As the site was developed, a third section became of specific interest to the project. A series of Confessions and Creeds from church history were formatted for easy viewing across all devices, with deep in page links for some of the longer confessions. This has become a popular section to link into from across the wider international reformed church community thanks to its clear display and layout.
The site is topped off by a powerful clear search tool to help users cut to the exact section they need.
All of the sections are accessible from the administration area allowing for simple edits to churches, adding new congregations to the maps as well as inserting new resources as they are created.
The feedback from the IPC has been excellent:
…as a denomination, we would like to thank you for all your hard work and patience in designing the new IPC website. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and people think it looks excellent. So thank you.
Visit: UK Presbyterian Church online.