header picture showing stained glass window

i-church is a non-profit making company limited by guarantee, registered in England, number 5495170, and a registered charity, number 1115977.

Our registered office is:   Diocesan Church House,
                                        North Hinksey,
                                        Oxford
                                        OX2 0NB.


Forum Rules - Code of Conduct

In order to make these boards a pleasant and safe place, we ask you to abide by some simple but important rules.

1. Respect the person behind the screen

Treat people as you would wish to be treated - with consideration and respect. Personal attacks are not allowed. If you are attacked, don't post in anger. Contact a host and ask them to deal with it.

2. Respect people's time

The people who post here (including hosts) have other responsibilities and real lives as well - don't expect instant responses.

3. Respect the bandwidth

These forums are free to use but they cost money to run, so use them for the purpose they are set up for. In particular, please note the following points:

  • Don't crusade (post about your favourite cause or topic regardless of the topic of the thread you're on)
  • Don't use the forums to conduct personal vendettas and feuds
  • Don't advertise commercial products
  • Don't post copyright or obscene material
  • Don't post comments which could be seen as libellous or defamatory

4. Respect the hosts

Hosts are here to keep the boards safe and enjoyable. If they ask you to do something, please do it. If you have a problem with the way a host has acted please contact one of the Admins.

5. Respect yourself

Swearing, txt spk and long rambling posts generally don't come across well. Make sure what you write is clear, concise and gives a good impression of you. Please do not allow anyone else to use your account to post - you are responsible for what is posted in your name.

6. Respect other people's privacy

Some people don't mind being known by their real names, others keep their identity in real life private. if you know someone offline, or find out their offline identity, don't disclose it. Don't disclose your own or other people's contact details - you have no idea who might read them.

7. Respect the Christian ethos of the site

Members of all faiths and those with no faith are all welcome here, but remember we are a Christian site. If you don't want to read about Christianity or to hear how Christians think and feel, perhaps i-church is not for you.

8. Respect our rules about identity

Please be aware that the use of pseudonyms does not remove your responsibility for what you post. Webuser magazine recently published legal guidelines for the internet which stated, "If your target is identifiable and what you have written exposes them to 'hatred, ridicule or contempt', hurts their reputation or causes them to be 'shunned or avoided', you could end up in a civil court." You cannot assume that a member is not identifiable simply because they are using a pseudonym.

In addition, please note you are only allowed one identity on this board - sock-puppetry is a serious breach of trust, and will be treated as such.

A fuller explanation of these principles can be seen here: The Core Rules of Netiquette.

9. Research Guidelines

If you wish to conduct any sort of research on the site or with our members you must contact one of the administrators to seek permission and ask for their guidance as to what is acceptable. Any posts regarding research will be removed if this has not been done.

Our Research Policy can be seen here. Please also read our Copyright Information, below.

10. If in doubt, just ask

If you need to change your user name for any reason, or need any other help or advice on using the i-church websites, please contact one of the Admins.

11. Forgive one another

Remember we all make mistakes and we all upset other people at times. Arguments and feuds between posters make the forums unpleasant for everyone, so:

  • If what you have said has upset someone, please apologise.
  • If someone says sorry, please accept it.
  • If you are asked to drop an argument, please drop it.
  • If it's not your argument, please don't join in.
  • If you want to conduct a feud with another member, please find somewhere else to do it.

Valuing Diversity

This policy echoes that of the Diocese of Oxford.

Theological Basis

We believe that it is a fundamental Christian understanding to hold that all human beings are created in the image of God, that all are valued equally in God's love. We believe that God as our creator (Genesis 1.27) not only gave us life, but gave each person gifts to be used and developed. We believe that God longs for our well-being and fulfilment, and that we are all responsible to God for the way we treat each other. Unlawful and unfair discrimination between people is therefore contrary to God’s purpose.

In the light of this Christian affirmation, and in recognition of our Lord's commandment that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, we declare our conviction that it is a Gospel imperative to realise the potential of all human gifts, and that failure to do so is an affront to the will of God.

A Pluralistic Society

We recognise that Britain is a pluralistic society, diverse in race, culture, creed and interests. We are aware that individuals and groups of people are sometimes discriminated against, both directly and indirectly, in unjustifiable ways.

As a result we welcome the legislation which aims to put this right, including:

  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Disabled Persons (Employment) acts 1944 and 1958
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

This is an ongoing process. We will abide by new legislation as it is introduced.

Statement of Intent

While recognising that there are currently some differences in conditions surrounding service between those who are lay or ordained, we will work to ensure that there is no discrimination on grounds of race, colour, nationality - including citizenship - or ethnic or national origins, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religious or political affiliation, lay or ordained status, or any other respect which cannot be shown to be a necessary requirement of the job or office concerned.

We declare our intention to be an Equal Opportunities employer. We will work to ensure that in all appointments the priority will be to find the best person suited to a particular post. This does not conflict with the requirement that for some roles it will be necessary for the person to be a practising Christian, nor with the requirement that anyone directly employed in i-church finances should be in sympathy with the Christian approach and ethos.

Therefore we declare that it is our intention to ensure that:

  • recruitment, selection and training, for those who are employed in a paid or voluntary capacity within our organisation,
  • access to membership of our councils, committees and other groups
  • access to the facilities and services we provide

are available to all without discrimination on the above grounds, and to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged in any of these matters by conditions or requirements that cannot be shown to be justifiable. Any justifiable condition must be lawful and will be made explicit in any situation, and i-church will be ready to defend such action.

It is our intention to take positive action, within the law and as the law encourages, to ensure equality of opportunity and of treatment on the matters specified above, details of which will be set out in our Access Policy.

Implementation

We look to all our staff and members of councils, boards, committees or groups appointed by us or on our behalf (whether paid or voluntary) to abide by and to promote this Policy.

Our specific action and progress following from this Policy are defined and monitored through our Access Policy, and by our Accessibility User Group, reporting each year through i-church's Annual Report.

 


Copyright


1. Quotations, Images, etc.

i-church members must obey copyright law when posting images, sound recordings, and quotations from others' works etc. In most cases images and including films, videos and photographs, can only be used with the explicit permission of the owners of the copyright. In the cases of written texts only short extracts, of a maximum of 300 words, or one stanza of a poem, may be reproduced, and must contain proper accreditation. Any longer extract requires the explicit permission of the owners of the copyright. For purposes of these rules copyright should be calculated as being 70 years from the end of the year in which the author of the work died. (Note: in a few instances copyright may exist for a much longer period, examples are the King James Bible and the BCP, which are in copyright to the publishers in perpetuity.)

Posts which appear to break copyright law will be removed from the boards instantly i.e. as soon as it is brought to the attention of the moderator, or council member, that a potential infringement has occurred remedial action shall be taken without delay. (This can take the form of hiding the post until the infringement can be verified or cleared.)

2. Members' forum posts

All members retain the copyright on their posts within i-church. By posting, the member gives permission for the post to be stored and displayed within the forum system in perpetuity. What facilities are available for a member to edit or delete his or her own posts is determined by such decisions as the i-church Council may from time to time put in place. By posting in the forum, members also agree to the forum rules, and posts may be deleted or edited by moderators if they contravene (or appear to contravene) those rules.

Nothing produced on any board, on the web site, in the chat rooms, or in any other part of i-church, may be produced outside the environs that constitute i-church, without the specific permission in writing, which may be by electronic mail, of the author.

3. Technical contributions (e.g. programming)

Unless otherwise specifically stated by the contributor, any programming code contributed to i-church becomes copyright i-church. We are very happy for contributions that come as a "package" to be licensed as copyleft or open source.

4. Chat rooms

Chat rooms are intended to be ephemeral means of communication. Transcripts or quotations from the chat rooms can only be published with the explicit permission of every person present in the chat room at that time. However, transcripts may be recorded and shown to i-church pastors, PG Leaders, and trustees, in circumstances where formal complaints are made or breaches of the forum rules are alleged.

(We consider it best practice to check beforehand whether everyone present is happy for a conversation to be transcribed; we also think that transcribing of conversations should be an exception rather than a rule, the equivalent to taking photographs in a Bricks and Mortar church, to record a special event or special visitors to the church. The permission of all present is still required.)

4a. Worship in chapel

Music may be played during "time of divine worship" without any special copyright licence, so we interpret this to mean that music may be used in the live chat chapel services without specific permission being granted, even if that music recording is copyrighted.

5. Website

Any member who publishes an article or other document (or agrees to the publishing of his or her document) on the i-church public website gives permission for the document to be stored and displayed in perpetuity in the i-church website. The member in question retains the copyright on the document while granting these permissions to i-church.

6. Private Messages and emails

Private messages and emails remain the copyright of the author, and may not be posted or published without that person's permission. In case of formal complaint, any PM or email received through i-church may be made available to one or more i-church pastors, PG Leaders, or trustees.

7. Disputes and changes

In case of dispute, a decision may be made by the Web Pastor on the advice of Council concerning the interpretation of this document, without prejudice to the legal situation that actually may pertain. This document itself can be changed and updated by the Web Pastor on the advice of the i-church Council.