Format of Church Database Entries
Searches on the Church Database are performed on a central MySQL database using SQL queries. Changes made by maintainers are not made to the central database itself, but to source files which are used collectively to update the database at regular intervals or when the need arises.
The source files consist of comma separated text files named CCCchurches.csv, where CCC is the upper case 3-letter Chapman County code. The county's CCCchurches.csv file is held in the filestore of the genuki.org.uk server and a symbolic link to it is provided in the home directory of the county's church database maintainer. Note that the county's church database maintainer need not be the same person as the county maintainer. Contact the system administrator if you have a problem locating your CCCchurches.csv file.
A program is run by the system administrator to collect all the county CCCchurches.csv files and update/build the church database.
Definition of fields
The fields in the CCCchurches.csv file are as follows. Each field description contains the field content, its size and type. The column letters are those that would head a spreadsheet format of the CCCchurches.csv file.
|A||County||Chapman county code, 3 characters, upper case.|
|B||Location||The OS grid reference of the church [XXnnnnnn or XXnnnnnnnnnn (upper case)].|
|C||Approximate||A multi-valued flag indicating whether the grid reference is exact or approximate.|
|D||Name||Name of the church.|
|E||URL||This is typically the historic parish or township which includes this church and will point to a GENUKI parish page.|
|F||Dedication||The dedication of the church.|
|G||URL||The URL of a GENUKI page specifically for the church which is displayed instead of the generic page giving details of the church.|
|H||Street||The name of the street where the church is located.|
|I||Code||A code used to group the denominations by type (see Notes below).|
|J||Denomination||The exact denomination.|
|K||Founding||The founding date of the church.|
|L||Closing||The closing date of the church.|
|M||URL||The URL of a picture of the church.|
|N||URL||The URL of the church's own web page.|
|O||Graveyard||Boolean flag indicating whether the church has ever had a graveyard.|
|P||History||Boolean flag indicating whether the distinct page for the church has a Church History section.|
|Q||Records||Boolean flag indicating whether the distinct page for the church has a Church Records section.|
|R||Name||The name of the person holding the copyright.|
|S||Conditions||Anything else to do with copyright.|
|T||Flag||A flag field.|
|U||ID||A unique identity.|
|V||Church History Text||Text under the Church History heading.|
|W||Church Records Text||Text under the Church Records heading.|
|X||Cemeteries Text||Text under the Cemeteries heading.|
|Y||Church Move Link||Link connecting entries for churches that have moved.|
All Fields. For all the Yes/No fields the upload program is flexible and only looks for an upper case Y anywhere within the field. If it finds one then it treats it as Yes, and anything else including an empty field is treated as No.
Field B, Location. The initial grid references were approximate, just giving the km square on the map and so additional zeroes were added to convert to the traditional 8 character grid reference and the approximate flag set to "Yes".
The standard eight character grid references do not give a fine enough resolution when used with sites such as streetmap.co.uk as sometimes the arrow on the map appears on the wrong side of the street. So there is also the option of providing an exact grid reference using twelve characters instead of the usual eight which are also still supported. So SD371271 can appear as SD3710027100.
Note that Google Maps use latitude/longitude to indicate locations and GENUKI uses the OS grid reference for England, Scotland, Wales & IOM. A conversion is therefore required and the routines employed don't always produce a perfect answer so the resulting location can be a few yards out.
If you are adding a new church and don't know its location, then use the grid reference for the town or place taken from the gazetteer. Adjust it so that it is easily recognisable as approximate [ XXnn0nn0 ] and also set the approximate field to "Y" or "Yes".
A useful source of church grid references is "Dove's Guide" for bellringers.
Special Case: Irish counties and the Channel Islands use latitude and longitude rather than grid reference, and these are each supplied in their own fields as B (latitude) and C (longitude). In this case, all the following fields remain as described below but with the field letter incremented by one.
Field C, Approximate. A multi-valued flag indicating whether the grid reference is exact, nearby or approximate. "Y" or "Yes" means this is an approximate reference (say, somewhere within the town) and "P", "N" or "No" means it's a more precise one (either nearby the church, or possibly an exact one - see field B). If the Approximate flag is blank it is taken to be "N".
The method used by the church database software to determine the precision of locations is to exploit both the Approximate flag and the length of the grid reference.
If the Approximate flag is "Y" or "Yes" then the precision is taken to be approximate.
If the Approximate flag is "P" then the precision is taken to be exact.
If the Approximate field is "N" then the grid reference is examined. If it is twelve characters long then it represents an exact location. If it is not twelve characters long, then it represents a nearby location.
Field D, Name. Name of the church. When a church place name has changed over the years, the name should be the one commonly used for that church, which tends to be the old one. E.g., Atherton parish church tends be called Chowbent in record office listings. The GENUKI ability to search by location and show the nearest churches helps users handle this.
Field E, URL. The URL for the town or parish page covering the place name is used to provide the "Up Arrow" link on the final web page giving details of the church.
Field G, URL. The URL of a GENUKI page specifically for the church which is displayed instead of the generic page giving details of the church. Leave this blank until you need to create a unique page for the church. You will need to do this if you want to add in further information such as a description of it's history or where to find the records. However, the system administrator is contemplating a further database table in the future to describe where to find the records, transcripts, indexes etc.
Field H, Street name. The name of the street where the church is located. Obviously this is there to help people find the church if they want to visit it, but if the church has no dedication then this is frequently used to refer to the church. E.g. compare "St.John's" or "St.Peter's" with "Park Street Methodist". If this is a rural area without a street name then you can enter a single space character. This prevents questions appearing in the Help area asking for a street name. When a church street name has changed over the years, put the current one first, so people can find it, but add "formerly xxxxx" so it is there on the pages for people looking for the old name.
Field I, Code. A code used to group the denominations by type. This is only ever used internally for searching. The next field with the detailed denomination is always used in the displays provided to the user.
This generic code is used in searches to look for broad types of church e.g. Methodist instead of all the possible variations e.g. Wesleyan Methodist, Primitive Methodist etc. etc. The ONLY codes that can be used are those in the search menu on the churches web page, i.e.,
Code Meaning ANG Anglican church (CofE, CofS, CinW etc.). For backward compatibility only. The upload program converts all ANG values to EST. EST Established church (CofE, CofS, CinW etc.). However be wary of calling anything "Established church" as it isn't politically correct for some of them. :-) BAPT Baptist. CONG Congregational or Independent. IND Independent. For backward compatibility only. The upload program converts all IND values to CONG. JEW Jewish. METH Methodist. PBY Presbyterian. UNIT Unitarian. RC Roman Catholic and any specials. SEC Secession churches, which is the usual term for those that seceded from the Church of Scotland. This includes Free Church of Scotland which experts say that, although it seceded later than the rest and was a large group, it is usually grouped as a secession church. EPIS Episcopal Church of Scotland. OTHER Other.
We may find the need to add further major categories if the need arises.
The denominations of Lancashire churches already in the database were used to produce the initial list. It obviously needs expanding especially for Scotland and anywhere else with different denominations. So, maintainers should get back to the system administrator with suggested additions. Note that we are not trying to produce a list of every denomination, this is to sub-divide them into similar groups to make it easier for users to find a church that may be useful from our database. So you need to see which types can be grouped together, and if there is just one or two of a denomination which doesn't warrant their own entry in this list, then just code them under "OTHER".
Field J, Exact denomination. The exact denomination, e.g. Methodist New Connexion. This is what is shown on the web pages generated rather than the code in the field above. Many denominations have split and regrouped over the years so put in the one that you think will be most useful. This is likely to be the original denomination rather than the broader group when they recombine later.
Field K, Date. The founding date of the church. If you don't know, enter a "1". If a user knows when an event took place, this field can be used to exclude churches from the list presented to them.
This field is used to construct another field internal to the final database which is used when searching by date.
More information about dates.
Field L, Date. The closing date of the church. Use "9998" as the default value for new entries.
This field is used to construct another field internal to the final database which is used when searching by date.
Field M, URL. The URL for a picture of the church. This is just for the image itself and is used on the final results page. E.g., click here and select "Sacred Heart" for an example. This will be used in the src= parameter in a <img> tag.
You can either supply a full URL, e.g., http://........./parish/xxxx.jpg or a shortened form
*/parish/xxxx.jpg The * is replaced by the county part of the URL when the database is built.
Please be aware of copyright and don't just grab any image. As there is no way in this system of relating a web image to the originator, don't link to any image you find on somebody else's site.
If you want to have multiple pictures, then this can be done if your county is at genuki.org.uk. This restriction is because the script looks for the existence of files. If the main picture is called xxxxx.jpg then it will look for others named xxxxx1.jpg, xxxxx2.jpg etc. and stop when the next in the sequence is not found. Style sheets are used to display these on the right of the screen. To facilitate this it also looks for small versions of the images to use as links, xxxxxnsm.jpg e.g., StJohn2sm.jpg. If the sm images do not exist it will use the full size ones, but force the width to be 200 pixels. This achieves the desired effect but makes the download time longer than it need be. The sm images should be 200 pixels wide for landscape images, and 150 pixels wide for portrait images.
There are subsequent fields that can be used to display copyright information, and usage conditions etc. There is also a separate facility to include a section of text under the picture which is specific to the county where you can put any particular usage conditions. This text is common to all pictures for churches in that county. Held in /big/churchdb/conditions/xxx where xxx=Chapman code.
Field N, URL. The URL for the church's own web page. If you have done a search and can't find one, then enter a single "N".
Field O, Graveyard. Whether the church has ever had a graveyard. Use "Y" or "N". If present it generates some appropriate text under the Cemeteries heading and will also be used to enable searches for burial places.
Field P, History. Whether the distinct page for the church has a Church History section. Use "Y" or "N". This is something only used within the database for generating Help messages. This field is only here so that there is central list of what has been added to individual web pages that have been written and avoids having to look at them individually.
Field Q, Records. Whether the distinct page for the church has a Church Records section. Usage as in previous field.
Field R, Name. The name of the person holding the copyright to the picture whose URL is provided in the field above. This is to put appropriate text under the picture that is displayed. If you don't want anything to appear, just leave this field blank.
Another alternative, where you have a group of church pictures with similar access conditions, is to use a special code in Field R and/or S which is then used to put specific text that you want including under the picture. E.g., if it is a picture of a church long ago demolished in an image library, you may have negotiated rights to link to it with additional text acknowledging the fact. The codes used here must first be provided by the system administrator to relate to a specific file on the server which can hold whatever text is required, such as acknowledgement, usage rights, links to the library etc.
One such code is that for Geograph pictures - see below.
Field S, Conditions. Conditions. Anything else to do with copyright. The previous field has the name of the owner, this one has been used to hold an associated date where permission was granted to use a picture from an old newspaper. It can also be used to hold special codes referring to how Field R is to be interpreted.
If you want to use Geograph pictures of churches, you need to place the code !GCC (for Geograph Creative Commons) in Field S of the csv file. Field R still contains the name of the copyright holder and also the Geograph profile number for that person separated by a slash. E.g. field R could be "Alexander P Kapp/3216" with "!GCC" in Field S. There is also a link to Geograph in the individual church pages that are generated for those without a picture, and this provides a reasonably easy mechanism for finding and adding church pictures.
Field T, Flag. A flag field. The contents aren't used by anything within the database, but can be used as a search constraint. For Lancashire this contains a flag for those churches published by the Lancashire Parish Register Society, and is used to show a Google map of them.
Field U, ID. A unique numeric identifier for this entry within the county. If it is not supplied an identifier is generated dynamically by a database rebuild, but the dynamic identifier will change if churches are added or deleted. This overcomes the problem, but you need to ensure that this value is unique within the county. The dynamically chosen identifiers are in a range starting at 10000. The identifier is used in URLs to show individual churches if one has not been specified in field G.
Field V, Church History Text. Text that will be placed under the Church History heading. This can contain html for formatting, but cannot contain any line breaks or newline characters.
Field W, Church Records Text. Text that will be placed under the Church Records heading. This can contain html for formatting, but cannot contain any line breaks or newline characters.
Field X, Cemeteries Text. Text that will be placed under the Cemeteries heading. This can contain html for formatting, but cannot contain any line breaks or newline characters.
Field Y, Church Move Link. Link to connect entries for churches that have moved location over time. Insert the Id of the most modern location. This has not been implemented yet.