Subscribing to an iCal feed of events, bookings and leave

ChurchSuite's Calendar & Bookings modules include a wide range of features and functionality to help you plan and manage every aspect of your organisations events and resource bookings. To help module users stay in the loop of what's going on, they can optionally subscribe to private iCal feeds of events, user leave, and bookings, enabling them to see pertinent information in their own preferred personal diary application. Once subscribed, as you make changes to events and bookings in ChurchSuite, people's diaries remain up to date.

An iCal events feed for your members

The instructions in this article are for ChurchSuite module Users, who can optionally subscribe to private iCal feeds of Calendar module's events and leave bookings, and Bookings module resource bookings; which may not be intended to be visible to your members e.g. staff leave, events with restricted visibility, customer room bookings etc. For this reason, your Users should not share their User iCal feeds with non-users, such as members or website visitors. The iCal links are user-specific, and therefore intended to be for the private use of each user.

For your members...

Members with access to My ChurchSuite can view all of your public-facing events in the My Events section of My ChurchSuite. My Events includes all events with visibility for Show in My ChurchSuite enabled. Similarly, members and non-members can view all your upcoming events on an embedded Calendar and/or Events feed on your website. These embedded features shows all events with visibility for Show in Embed enabled.

However, you can optionally share a link to an iCal feed of your public-facing events, which includes ALL events with visibility for Show in Embed enabled. The feed only includes events, and excludes your other Calendar module entries, such as public holidays, user birthdays, leave bookings, and resource bookings. Note that this is an 'all sites' feed of all public-facing events for all sites - it's not possible to subscribe to a site-specific public-facing calendar iCal feed.

The public-facing iCal feed for your members is:

webcal://accountid.churchsuite.com/ical/embed.ics

For example, if your ChurchSuite account URL is kingshope.churchsuite.com, the iCal feed would be

webcal://kingshope.churchsuite.com/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.

Calendar - iCal users

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! Your personal calendar will now auto-refresh as you add, change or delete events in ChurchSuite.

Calendar iCal - Google Calendar users

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.

Experiencing Google Calendar sync issues

As you'll see from the many online forums, Google users sometimes experience issues with feed synchronisation, resulting in changes to feed files not being picked up by Google's servers, and therefore not reflected in person's Google calendar. While ChurchSuite regenerates new Google feed files and iCal files every hour, Google's systems, which only check for updates once every 24 hours, may periodically experience issues.

If you experience issues with changes made in ChurchSuite not showing in your Google Calendar, try subscribing to the ChurchSuite iCal feed in an alternative calendar application (like Outlook), to see if the ChurchSuite changes are showing as you would expect. If they are, this will confirm that there is a sync issue is with Google, which needs to be resolved by them. You/we have no control over Google's servers seeing changes in the hourly-update ChurchSuite feed files.

Subscribing to a feed of user leave requests

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Leave Requests section of the Calendar module, to locate the Subscribe option on the More button at the top of the list.

Subscribing to a feed of events in a category

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 to view, and locate the Subscribe option on the More button at the top of the page.

Subscribing to a feed of bookings

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Bookings section of the Bookings module, to locate the Subscribe option on the More button at the top of the list.

Subscribing to a feed of bookings for a booking type

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 to view, and locate the Subscribe option on the More button at the top of the page.

Subscribing to feed of bookings for a resource

Following the same principles outlined above for iCal feeds and Google Calendar subscriptions, head into the Resources section of the Bookings module. Select a resource from the list to view, and locate the Subscribe option on the More button at the top of the page.

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