Lisburn church wins Omega software drawLisburn church wins Omega software draw

Andrew Cuthbert (GCD), Reverend John Keefe and Paul Hanna (Sloan Street)

Sloan Street Presbyterian in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, has come up trumps in our recent customer feedback draw, winning £50 M&S vouchers and 6 months' free product support for 2010. As long-term users of Omega Church administration software, Sloan Street were invited, along with over 100 other churches who have been using the software for more than a year, to provide their feedback on the product and its support. One respondent was selected at random for this extra special thank you. Paul Hanna, a Committee Member from Sloan Street said, "Omega has brought many benefits to us, for example, significant time savings and the ability to analyse our data in many different ways. On the small number of occasions we have had to contact the support staff, we have always had an extremely prompt response and any issues have been resolved".  Read the full interview with Paul on Sloan Street's use and experience of Omega Church.

The main Sloan Street church building is located on the corner of Sloan Street and Young Street on the Co. Down side of the Union Bridge over the River Lagan in Lisburn, close to the Riverside Retail Park. Sloan Street Presbyterian provides a great service to the local community. In addition to 2 services each Sunday, it also offers a wide variety of groups and organisations, including the Presbyterian Women's Group, Boys' and Girls' Brigade, Badminton, Bible Study and a Toddlers' Group. Sloan Street have been using Omega Church software since 2003 to help the administration of their busy church run smoothly.  Read more about Sloan Street Presbyterian.

As many of you know, Omega Church software has, in fact, been around for more than 10 years now. It has a large user base within Northern Ireland and is attracting increasing interest from the rest of the UK and Ireland. It is, at heart, a user-friendly but powerful membership database, which manages all church administration needs including income recording, gift aid claims, managing church organisations and pastoral requirements. Customer feedback comments from the recent survey included, "GCD are doing a great job with Omega. Keep it up", "Very happy with the system", and "Great team who have produced an excellent package and provide first class support. Adobe, Microsoft, Apple etc. could learn from GCD".  We have also taken note of your suggestions on where we can improve - we want to get those positive percentages (see right) even higher!  Providing more guidance and documentation on how to use Omega's comprehensive reporting system will also be a top priority!

Within the last year, we have also added a comprehensive fund accounting module, which can be purchased as a separate program, or added to an existing installation of Omega Church if required, as with Sloan Street. "We use Omega largely to record weekly donations and then to use this data to automatically produce Gift Aid claims and to export the data needed for our Annual Report to Microsoft Excel, so that it can be formatted to our specific requirements", said Paul Hanna, "and recently we have added the Omega Accounts package to allow us to better integrate our giving and expenditure as well as helping us to comply with the new Charities legislation. This is proving beneficial."

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland have already endorsed Omega Accounts as meeting all charities legislation needs for its congregations. GCD's Director, Andrew Cuthbert said, "There seems to be a lot of uncertainty out there amongst churches as to how they will manage these new accounting practices. We have seen the demand for Omega Accounts rocket within recent months as they realise the benefit s of having a tailored, supported package which will help them make the transition". 

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Survey resultsSurvey results

Use of Omega Church

Most respondents reported having either the Single User (45%) or Multi User (39%) editions of Omega Church software at their church.  Membership and Income Recording were reported as being the most used areas of the program by 97% of our respondents.  Organisations and Pastoral are least used, often, you told us, because of the lack of availability of key staff to administer them.

Omega Church - the program

Appearance -   71% of respondents reported that the Omega Church program looked either "great" or "good".  The remaining 28.95% considering it "OK". No-one said it looked "poor" or "terrible". 

Omega Church was considered to meet church needs either "very well" or "extremely well" by 66% of respondents, and "quite well" by 29%. One church (2.5%) selected "not well" and one questionnaire (2.5%) did not provide this data. 

With regard to user-friendliness, 58% rating it as "extremely" or "very" user friendly, 37% chose "OK". The "not at all" and "not very" options were selected by one respondent each (5% in total).

Omega church - support 

95% of respondents rated support staff as "extremely" or "very" polite and helpful. The other 5% (2 respondents) selected "quite". No-one selected the 2 negative options of "not very" or "not at all".

92% rated Omega Support as being "very" or "extremely" accessible. Two respondents (5%) considered it to be "quite" accessible, and only one person (3%) selected "not at all".

With regard to satisfaction with the resolution of their support queries, 89% reported being "extremely" or "very" satisfied. Three respondents (8%) chose "quite" and one (3%) chose "not very". Nobody said they were "not at all" satisfied with the resolution.

Satisfaction with speed of resolution of support queries was consideered by 85% to be either "extremely" or "very" satisfactory. Four respondents (10%) chose "quite" satisfied, and 2 (5%) selected "not very". No-one said they were "not at all" satisfied with the speed of resolution of their queries.