18 JUNE 2006
www.gettingmarried.ie WEBSITE WINS PRESTIGIOUS
ANDREW CROSS AWARD
“Many websites like this one, but nothing “like” this one” – Judges
The joint ACCORD-Catholic Ireland website www.gettingmarried.ie has won a prestigious
UK Andrew Cross Award in the National Website category. The award was presented at
the conclusion of the Churches’ Media Council Annual Conference at the Hayes Conference
Centre in Derbyshire on 13 June last.
The Andrew Cross Awards are presented annually and recognise the best in religious local/
regional radio and television and video, religious websites, and national & regional press,
and also outstanding religious writer and broadcaster of the year.
In selecting www.gettingmarried.ie as the winner of the Andrew Cross Award in the National
Website category the judging panel made the following comments: “Well suited to its audience.
Many websites like this one, but nothing “like” this one. This exceeds the mission it sets
itself. [It] serves a need without dehumanising the wedding or the process. The countdown
facility was a good idea and nicely implemented. Culturally speaking, it has it just right.”
Commenting on the award, Mr Shay Ellis, National Director of ACCORD said: “We were thrilled
to win an Andrew Cross Award. Although short-listed and full of hope, when we saw the
quality of the other entrants we knew the competition was going to be very strong.
However, since last year’s launch of www.gettingmarried.ie by President of ACCORD, Bishop
Willie Walsh, we have had a hugely positive response from people who have used the site –
couples preparing for marriage; their parents; grandparents; and from priests around the
country. We are averaging just over 9,000 unique hits per month and in excess of 11,500
wedding booklets have been produced online and downloaded. The average time spent by browsers
on gettingmarried.ie is seven to nine minutes.
“The aim of gettingmarried.ie is to support and address the needs of couples preparing for
the Sacrament of Marriage. ACCORD and CatholicIreland.net skills and expertise have combined
to create a ‘one stop shop’ site which addresses many of the religious and legal
responsibilities facing couples preparing for marriage. Unlike other sites on marriage,
gettingmarried.ie is faith based and practical and does not have a commercial side to it.”
Mr Ellis paid tribute to the staff in ACCORD and CatholicIreland.net saying: “The staff of
ACCORD and Catholic Ireland deserve great credit for their excellent and creative work in
designing and providing the content for this site. This prestigious award justly recognises
the extent that gettingmarried.ie understands the needs of its audiences.”
The CEO of CatholicIreland, Mr Tony Bolger said: “I am not surprised that the website has
scooped first prize, as it is an excellent site. Catholic Ireland has designed more than
seventy sites for dioceses, parishes and congregations, not just in Ireland but abroad and
in the future we would like to see more partnerships develop between ourselves and other
agencies like the one we have with ACCORD.”
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)
NOTES TO EDITORS:
* The Andrew Cross Awards are presented annually and recognise the best in religious
local/regional radio and television and video, religious websites, and national & regional
press, and also outstanding religious writer and broadcaster of the year. They encourage
and appreciate those involved in making local religious programmes, creating and maintaining
websites and publishing religious papers and magazines and develop creativity amongst
broadcasters, programme makers, web masters, editors and writers. The awards aim to inspire
new talent, and are a showcase for the industry.
* The Andrew Cross Awards are in memory of the late Bishop Agnellus Andrew and the late
Bishop Stewart Cross, former presidents of the Churches’ Media Council’s predecessor CACLB
(the Churches Advisory Council for Local Broadcasting),both of whom made rich contributions to
* www.gettingmarried.ie which is a joint initiative of ACCORD and Catholic Ireland.net.
was launched by Bishop Willie Walsh, President of ACCORD in December 2005.
The website gives details of the state and church regulations and the various documents
needed in preparation for the wedding day and where they can be obtained. Of particular
interest are the essential steps in the marriage preparation journey which is available
on the website in a timeline format.
* The website provides a wedding booklet facility, which allows couples to create their
marriage booklet online, a task which many couples find particularly daunting and stressful.
* There is a frequently asked questions section covering some of the many questions that
couples have when they are preparing for their marriage.
* Since the launch of the site in November 2005 almost 11,500 unique marriage booklets
have been completed and downloaded from the site and the unique hit rate per month is
in the region of 9,500.
* ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service was set up in Ireland in 1965 to serve the pastoral
needs of marriage and the family. ACCORD is an agency of the Catholic Church and provides
a nationwide service to couples preparing for or seeking a deeper commitment to
traditional Marriage and Family values and structures. All services provided by ACCORD’s 800+
volunteers through its fifty seven centres are fully confidential, delivered by professionally trained
and highly skilled practitioners who demonstrate the personal qualities and competences
required to carry out this very important work. Each of our volunteers delivers at least
100 hours of service per year which demonstrates their commitment to all aspects of our
work. For further information see: www.accord.ie.
* CatholicIreland.net is a Trust set up to promote and support the work of the Catholic
Church in Ireland and abroad on the World Wide Web. Its aim is to ensure that the positive
initiatives being taken by members of the Church in Ireland have a dynamic and attractive
forum on the web and other modern media. For further information see: www.catholicireland.net