Subscribing to an iCal feed of events, bookings and leave

ChurchSuite's Calendar module is a fantastic tool that enables you to easily plan events that are happening in the life of your church, record holiday and annual leave for your Users, and so much more. To help stay in the loop, Users can subscribe to calendar feeds of your church's events, user leave and bookings so that they can see each of those things in their preferred personal diary application - as you make changes in ChurchSuite, people's diaries remain up to date.

An iCal events feed for church members

The instructions in this article are aimed at Users who can subscribe to iCal feeds of your Calendar module's calendar, which may include events, leave and bookings that are not intended to be visible to church members e.g. staff leave, events with restricted visibility etc. You should not share User iCal feeds with non-users, such as church members or web site visitors.

For church members...

Church members can access you public-facing events in the My Events section of My ChurchSuite, which lists all events whose visibility is set as Show in My ChurchSuite, or they can access your embedded events calendar on your website, which lists all events whose visibility is set as Show in Embed.

However, you can also make available a generic, public-facing iCal feed that only includes events whose Visibility settings have Show in Embed enabled - it excludes calendar entries such as public holidays, user birthdays, leave and bookings. This is an 'all sites' feed - it's not possible to subscribe to a site-specific public-facing church calendar iCal feed.

The public-facing iCal feed for church members is:

webcal://accountid.churchsuite.co.uk/ical/embed.ics

For example, if you ChurchSuite account URL is kingshope.churchsuite.co.uk, the iCal feed would be

webcal://kingshope.churchsuite.co.uk/ical/embed.ics

In the remainder of this article we'll focus on the iCal feed that Calendar and Bookings module Users can subscribe to.

Mac Calendar

Head into the Calendar module. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Subscribe to feed (iCal).

Assuming Mac Calendar is the default calendar application on your device, Mac Calendar is launched and you are asked to confirm you want to create the feed subscription. Click Subscribe.

Supply a suitable Name for the subscription and set how often you want the Mac Calendar to Auto-refresh and pick up changes made in ChurchSuite. ChurchSuite regenerates updated iCal files every hour on the half hour. Once you're happy with your selected settings, click OK.

That's it - you're done! Your calendar will automatically refresh as you add new events in through ChurchSuite.

Google calendar

Google feed sync issues

As you'll see from the many online forums, Google has repeatedly experienced issues with their feed syncing, resulting in changes to feed files not being picked up by Google and therefore not reflected in people's Google calendars. While ChurchSuite regenerates updated google feed files and iCal files every hour, Google's systems, which only check for updates once every 24 hours, have been experiencing ongoing issues that they resolve and then it breaks again a little while later. If you are experiencing changes made in ChurchSuite not showing in your Google Calendar, try subscribing to the ChurchSuite iCal feed in an alternative calendar, like Outlook, to see if the ChurchSuite changes are showing as you would expect. If they are, this will confirm that the issue is with Google.

As with the Mac calendar, begin by going to the Calendar in ChurchSuite. Then, scroll down to bottom of the page and select Subscribe via Google Calendar.

Assuming Google Calendar is the default calendar application on your device, ChurchSuite will launch Google Calendar in a new browser tab (you may be asked to log into Google Calendar). A confirmation message gives you the option to now add your ChurchSuite calendar to your Google calendar. Note that Google only update calendar subscriptions every 24 hours.

Subscribing to just the leave calendar

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the My Leave section of the Calendar module. Scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner of the list of leave entries and click to subscribe as appropriate for your device's calendar application as outlined above.

Subscribing to particular event categories

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Categories section of the Calendar module. Select a category from the list and scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner of the category event list and click to subscribe as appropriate for your device's calendar application as outlined above.

Subscribing to your list of bookings

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Bookings section of the Bookings module. Scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner of the bookings list and click to subscribe as appropriate for your device's calendar application as outlined above.

Subscribing to particular booking types

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Types section of the Bookings module. Select a type from the list and scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner of the Type's bookings list and click to subscribe as appropriate for your device's calendar application as outlined above.

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