If you've any questions about Chrestos, please get in touch. ThenMedia offers unlimited support to customers. Ring 01244 478727 or email chrestos@thenmedia.org.uk.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.


How do I sign-in to a Chrestos Cloud?

If your Circuit has a Chrestos website, you will find on its main menu bar a 'cloud' icon. Click on this icon and you'll be taken to your Circuit's sign-in page.

If your Circuit doesn't have a Chrestos website, the administrator of your Cloud will supply you with your sign-in page's web address.

On the sign-in page, enter your username and password and click 'sign in'.
If you've forgotten your password, click 'forgotten password?' and follow the instructions.

As a Cloud administrator, how do I grant Cloud access to someone else?

You will need edit permission for the People database to grant Cloud access.

You can only grant Cloud access to those already in the People database. (Create a new record if necessary.)

In the People database, find the record of the person requiring access and click Unlock to prepare for editing.

On the Basics tab, click the Username field. It will change from No to Yes.

On the Groups tab, click on the Cloud Access group (at the end of the list, under System) then click Done.

A box will appear containing username and password, and the option to email these details, if desired.

With this username and password, the one granted access will now be able to sign-in to your Cloud.

Is every Cloud user able to use all parts of the Cloud?

Only with permission. Cloud administrators grant access to Cloud tools (and access permissions can be 'edit' or 'read only'). Users could therefore have very limited access, to perform just one particular task, or wide-ranging access to do many things. All permissions are determined locally.

Can I change my password?

Yes. After signing-in to the Cloud, go to the 'Account' tool (bottom row) and follow the instructions in the yellow panel.

Can I change my username?

No. ThenMedia provides Chrestos Cloud users with a username and this cannot be changed.

Database & Library

Can I export a list from the People database for printing?

There are two main export options in the People database: PDF or XLS.
The PDF delivers name and contact information in an easily printable form.

The XLS provides greater information, as a spreadsheet, which can be arranged and prepared for printing as required.

The records in the People database can be filtered and sorted prior to export.

How do I produce mailing labels?

In the People database, use the filtering options to create your labels list. Click the Export button and select one of the label formats. Label sheets will be generated which can then be printed.

What's the point of Groups?

Groups, in Chrestos, is a way of tagging records in the People database. For example, people could be tagged / grouped by church (Wesley) or office (Local Preacher) or committee (Church Council) or some other criterion.
Chrestos uses Groups to assist with filtering, mailing and permissions.

In the People database Groups are used to filter records. 'Show only those from St John's, or only church stewards, or Local Preachers who belong to St Mark's'. A filtered list might then be exported for printing.

In the Email Centre, Groups are used for mailings. 'Email all church stewards or members of the Circuit Leadership Team'. Where a group member has no email address, a mailing label is offered an an alternative.

Across a Chrestos Cloud, Groups are used to set permissions. Edit or read only permissions can be set for each tool in the Cloud as well as for each folder in the Document library. 'Give Local Preachers read only access to the Churches database, and edit access to the Availability tool'.

With the Database & Library option, any number of groups can be locally created.

How do I create a new group and put people in it?

From the home screen, go to Groups. Click New group and give the group a title and allocate it to a category. Click the Members tab and add people to the new group. People can be added as individuals or by group. After being added, they can be removed by clicking the cross to the right of their name.

People can also be put into groups in the People database. Select an individual and click on the Groups tab. Clicking on a group name highlights the group and makes the individual a member. Clicking on a highlighted group name, removes the highlighting and removes the individual from that group.

Can the Email Centre handle attachments?

Yes. When composing a message, there is an 'Add attachments' button.
In Chrestos, when an attachment accompanies a message, only a link to the attachment is actually sent, not the attachment itself. On receipt, recipients click the link and, at that point, download the attachment from the Cloud. (The link remains active for 21 days.) This process requires an attachment to 'exist' in the Cloud prior to a message being sent and to remain there for at least 21 days thereafter.

Does the Email Centre support CC and BCC?

Yes. After preparing a list of recipients, any can then be marked CC or BCC.

Why does a group mailing from the Email Centre appear to a recipient as a personal message sent only to them?

When the Email Centre sends the same message to a group, its default setting is to hide from each recipient the details of every other recipient. The purpose is to keep recipients' email addresses private. (Because of this, it may sometimes be useful to explain in a message who else is receiving it.)

Where it is important to reveal a mailing list, including email addresses, mark one name (perhaps your own) as CC or BCC and the Email Centre will then place all others in a TO field where their details will be visible to each recipient.

How can I prevent a Cloud document from appearing on the website?

Each document uploaded to the Cloud is marked public or private. Mark private all documents not to appear on the website.

What's the practical difference between a public and private document?

On upload to the Cloud, all documents are marked public or private. Public files can be displayed on an open page of a linked Chrestos website. Private files will not be displayed.

Where there is no linked Chrestos website, the public/private distinction is irrelevant. Access in the Cloud to such documents is determined by permissions set for the Document library and the folders within it.

Can folders in the Document library have different access permissions?

Yes. Edit or read only permissions can be set folder by folder.

Where folders exist within other folders (parent-child), permissions must allow users access to parent folders in order to see child folders.

Remember that throughout Chrestos, permissions are given to Groups, not individuals.

What are notification folders?

Notification folders are an alternative to sending files by attachment in group emails.

In the Document library, when a new file is added to a 'notification folder', those with read or edit access to the folder receive an automated email announcing its arrival. (Relevant folders are checked every fifteen minutes.) Recipients can then sign-in and find the file.

Those receiving automated messages will need usernames and Cloud access in order to sign-in, and appropriate permissions to find the relevant folder.

By default, the notification option is switched-off. It can be switched-on, folder by folder, by editing the folder and altering the 'Notifications' field.

How can dates stored in a Chrestos calendar be accessed?

Dates can be viewed online either on a Chrestos website calendar page or in the Dates tool of a Chrestos Cloud. (Appropriate permissions will be required for the latter.)

It is possible to download a list of dates from a calendar or to subscribe to a calendar. Both options are available in the Cloud and either, or both, can be available on a website.


What's the difference between a Plan Admin and a Planmaker?

A Plan Admin has wider ranging planning permissions than a Planmaker.

When viewing the planning grid, a Plan Admin sees all circuit churches and preachers; a Planmaker only sees churches and preachers from their own section / mission area.

In the Availability tool, Plan Admins can edit availability for all preachers; Planmakers can only edit their own.

The distinctions between Plan Admin and Planmaker only really apply when planning is done by section / mission area.

Why are there different status settings for a Planning Period?

The different settings separate the three main phases of plan-making: submitting availability, planning of preachers, viewing of appointments.

It's messy doing planning if availability keeps changing; its inappropriate to be viewing appointments if planning is incomplete. The changing status of a planning period keeps the phases separate, while allowing Plan Admins to over-ride where necessary.

What's the difference between 'Planning in progress' and 'Plan being finalised'?

Each is a different status setting for a planning period, but the distinction is only relevant to Planmakers and only where planning is done by section / mission area.

In this context, the Plan can be made in two phases: in the first (Planning in progress) Planmakers can be active in their own section with their own preachers; in the second (Plan being finalised) Planmakers are excluded while Plan Admins complete the Plan for the whole circuit.

The two status settings make no difference to Plan Admins.

Can the Plan be altered once it's complete?

Yes, but not when the Planning period status is set to 'Plan complete'. Select the appropriate period, change it's status from 'Plan complete' to 'Planning in progress', then make the necessary alterations. When all alterations have been made, return the status to 'Plan complete'.

Do planning periods have to be three months?

No. When creating a Planning period, simply set the first Sunday and the last Sunday and it doesn't matter how many weeks there are between.

Can midweek services be added to a Chrestos Plan?

No. Currently, Chrestos only handles Sunday appointments.

How does Chrestos deal with visiting preachers?

Chrestos recognises two types of visiting preachers: regular visitors and occasiona visitors.

Regular visitors need to be in the 'Visiting preacher' AND 'Available for planning' groups. They can then leave availability, appear on the Planning grid, and be planned in the normal way.

Occasional visitors need just to be in the 'Visiting Preacher' group. Their names can then be added to a cell when planning via the Visiting Preacher drop-down. They don't leave availability, don't appear on the planning grid and no record of their appointments is maintained.

Must the preachers' availability form display preferred locations?

No. With large circuits, and churches with varied worship styles, it can often be useful for preachers to be able to indicate preferred locations, but the feature can be turned-off. Without preferred locations, Chrestos assumes all preachers are available everywhere.

Why isn't a particular church appearing on the Planning grid?

To appear on the Planning grid, a church needs at least one service time.

Go to the Churches database, select the church, click the services tab and enter at least one service time. The time needs to be formatted as '10:30 am' — using a colon as a separator and a space before am or pm.

How do I alter the listing order of churches in the Planning grid?

The order is taken from the listing order of Mission Areas and Churches in the Groups tool. (If you don't subscribe to Database & Library and so don't have access to the Groups tool, contact ThenMedia and we will make any alterations for you.)

In the Groups tool, click on the small plus icon against the name of a Mission Area to reveal a list of churches. Drag a church to a new position and then click Save order (from the right hand panel).

If a church needs to change mission area, click on the church and edit the 'Parent group' field.

Why isn't a certain preacher appearing on the Planning grid?

To appear on the Planning grid, a preacher needs to be in the 'Available for planning' group AND in one of the church groups.

To appear on the Planning grid, a visiting preacher needs to be in the 'Available for planning' group AND in the 'Visiting Preacher' group.

What's the difference between 'featured' and 'standard' service codes?

In the service dialogue box, the service codes drop-down lists items in alphabetical order — except featured items appear first. It's useful, therefore, to mark regularly used service codes as 'featured' codes to make them more accessible.


Can I add extra pages to our Chrestos website?

Yes. Using the Pages tool, click New page in the right-hand panel.

Begin on the System tab by selecting a suitable page template from the Template drop-down.

Then, on the Basics tab, name the page and add further information as appropriate.

Creating new pages can be tricky. If in doubt, call ThenMedia and we will help you.

What are Editor's pics?

Editor's pics are a way of keeping certain articles / news stories on your Home page.

Articles / news stories in the right-hand panel are in date order and so eventually drop-off the Home page as they're replaced by more recent items. To preserve a story on the Home page, make it an Editor's pic.

In the Articles tool, edit the chosen story, go to the System tab and click the Editor's pic button. (Doing the same to a story already an Editor's pic, will de-select it as such.)

Is it possible to alter the order of news stories / articles on the Home page?

The listing order is by date of publishing and this sort order can't be edited. However the actual date of publishing can be. If you want a story to stay top of the list, for example, keep editing its publish date to make sure it's the most recent.

See also, Editor's pics.

Where can I find pictures to accompany news stories?

The best pictures are usually taken locally. At any event, these days, there will be attendees with smartphones containing excellent cameras.

If a story has no accompanying pictures, you may have something suitable already in your photo gallery (the location, a similar event last year, etc).

ThenMedia maintains a small library of images you're welcome to use. (Edit your story, go to the Media tab, then the Recently added drop-down. Listed there are a few Stock galleries.)

There are also, of course, huge numbers of images on the Internet. Remember not all of these are free of copyright.

What's the best way to store uploaded images?

The Images tool allows the creation of galleries. Galleries are for storing images, like folders are for storing files. You can create as many galleries as you wish.

Galleries can be public or cloud only. All public galleries are automatically displayed on a Chrestos website. Well-organised, suitably named public galleries make it easier for visitors to find pictures. A description can be added to a gallery to further help users.

Images in a cloud only gallery don't appear on a website gallery page (even under Most recent) but are available under the Media tab for adding to news stories / articles. The same applies to images uploaded but not put in any gallery.

Why does an uploaded image have different 'versions'?

When an image is uploaded into the Cloud, the system creates three copies (versions).

The first is a small version, which the system auto-crops to a square.

The second is a medium sized version, which the system auto-crops to 4:3 landscape.

The third is the full image, which appears in its original aspect (landscape or portrait).

Each version can be manually cropped, using its accompanying Edit button.

The different versions of an image are used in different parts of the website as determined by different page templates.

How do I crop an uploaded image?

Find the image in the Image tool. Click on the image, then edit.

Select the Versions tab, then click Edit against the size of image to be cropped.

Click and drag the box as required, then click Done.

Click Done in the right hand panel to save the crop.

The Calendar page is too full! Can I filter dates for easier viewing?

Yes, but only if you've created different calendars.

Using the Dates tool, you can create as many calendars as you wish. Then, when creating new dates, allocate each to an appropriate calendar.

On the calendar web page, we can then add a drop-down that will list your various calendars.

Selecting one from the drop-down will filter the visible events to those in that calendar.

Can we have a 'restricted' publications page where visitors must sign-in for access?

Yes. A web page can be restricted and it can be linked to a certain folder in the Document library so that the page displays the folder's files on signing-in.

To access such a page, a visitor needs to be in the People database, be given a username, and be a member of the Group granted access to the page.

Can I upload a video to the website?

Yes, by using the Videos tool.

To select a video for use on a Chrestos website, it must first be uploaded either to Vimeo or YouTube. These specialist services handle all video codecs, thereby making your content available for adding to your website.


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