Media Release: Torch Trust Highlights ‘Web-Sight Loss’

Win for LRBC and ECRU at CNMAs: Left to Right: Matt Williams ECRU Managing Director, Sarah Lennard-Brown ECRU Director, Dr Mike Townsend Torch Trust, Dr. Krish Kandiah CNMAs Host, Tom the Guide Dog and David Elcock Community Worker Leigh Road Baptist Church
Left to Right: Matt Williams ECRU Managing Director, Sarah Lennard-Brown ECRU Director, Dr Mike Townsend Torch Trust, Dr. Krish Kandiah CNMAs Host, Tom the Guide Dog and David Elcock Community Worker Leigh Road Baptist Church

For immediate release Monday, 24 October 2011
Leigh Road Baptist Church website wins Accessibility Award 2011

With the adoption of new technology by churches and Christian organisations, blind and partially sighted people are facing an additional struggle; a term Dr Mike Townsend from Torch Trust has termed ‘Web-sight loss’.

Dr Townsend judged the Accessibility Award category of the Premier Christian Media’s 5th Annual Christian New Media Awards (CNMAs) which recognised websites that delivered an exemplary commitment to accessibility.

Presenting the Award, accompanied by his guide dog, Tom, he said, “Jesus was a great communicator. He communicated with all kinds of people. My judging was an interesting journey. But, some of my journeys couldn’t even get started. A real case web-sight loss!”

He continued, “The Leigh Road Baptist Church website was excellent. I really know what’s going on. It almost makes me want to move to Leigh-on-Sea!”

Commenting on the awards, Dr Gordon Temple, Chief Executive of Torch Trust questions whether the Church is grasping the concept of accessibility, pressing that it ought to be second nature to do so.

He said, “The gospel is inclusive – Jesus was inclusive, and went out of his way to include people with disabilities

We’re supporting this Award because it’s important that web and media resources are accessible to all. It should be the norm for the Christian church; a Gospel for all, and a heart for all because we don’t want to see anyone left out.”

David Elcock, Community Worker for Leigh Road Baptist Church commented on the award, “We worked with to create our site which launched in April of this year. We and ECRU – a Leigh-on-Sea based web design agency believe the right website is crucial in encouraging people to interact with the church, Matt, Sarah and Andy of ECRU were rigorous in their approach to accommodating the real-world needs of people with disabilities.”

Matt Williams, Managing Director of ECRU said, ”We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with David Elcock on the Leigh Road Baptist Church website – we experienced a real meeting of minds when it came to the spirit underlying the project, with a shared focus on fostering communication with real people, whatever their age or ability.”

David Elcock, continued, “Working with Matt, Sarah and Andy of to create the new site that launched in April of this year has been a joy. We are really happy that it has already been recognised for its accessibility through the Premier CNMAs. ECRU have been excellent in helping LRBC with their expertise in creating a truly useful and accessible website that works for us as a church in our attempt to reach out to all the people of our community. We couldn’t recommend them enough.”

The evening which took place St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London on 14th October, was hosted by Premier Christian Radio Presenter, Maria Rodrigues-Toth and Dr. Krish Kandiah, Executive Director: Churches in Mission and England Director for the UK Evangelical Alliance.


Accessibility Award
Winner: Leigh Road Baptist Church
Runner Up: Bible Reflections

To find out more about the Christian New Media Awards and Conference visit or follow @xiannewmedia on twitter.

Photos and further information
Further information, press quality photos are available, please contact:  David Elcock on 07967 010261 or email for copies.

For more information from the award organisers
Please contact Sharon Molloy, PR Manager on t: 020 7316 1335,

About the Leigh Road Baptist Church Experience
Leigh Road Baptist Church has been serving the community of Leigh on Sea for well over 100 years. With hundreds of people of every age and background coming through the doors every week all are welcome.  We are a group of people that are committed Christians. This means that we believe Jesus Christ is as relevant now as he was 2000 years ago. We aim to open our doors to the community to provide the services that people need for Faith, Leisure, Friendship and Life. We do this through personal contact, Alpha Courses, Oasis the Coffee House, The Stables community facility, Youth Work, Community Volunteers, Support Workers for the elderly, Sunday services and many more activities that can be found on our award winning accessible website and also by following us on Facebook ( Twitter (@LRBCNews). In everything we do, we place a high emphasis on making friends, Bible exploration, worship and prayer. We very much look forward to welcoming new faces to our wide range of activities. LRBC is a member church of the Love Southend initiative

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