View Calendar in Google, Apple or Outlook Calendar

You can add your Church Social calendar to your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or Outlook Calendar. In fact, this works with any application that supports the standard iCalendar format.

Church Social offers two iCalendar subscription feeds: 

  • One for the public church calendar 
  • Another for each member's private calendar. 

Let's look at each.

Public church calendar feed

Your public church calendar, which is currently available via our API and WordPress plugin, is also available as an iCalendar subscription feed. This feed is only available to administrators on the calendar settings page, and is intended as an alternative method of adding your public calendar to your website. Note, this feed only includes events that have been marked as Visible to anyone.

Private member calendar feed

The second calendar feed is a little more interesting. This calendar feed is unique to each member, and includes public events, private events, and schedule reminders. Members can find their personalized subscription URL on the Calendar page, under the 3-dot menu button, and then choosing the Subscribe option in the menu.

Since the iCalendar format doesn't support authentication, we've used "secret URLs" for this feature. This means each member's calendar URL is unique to them, and signed with an HTTP signature, meaning it cannot be modified. However, the URL is still publicly accessible, which is why it's important that members never share their private calendar URL with others. This is also why we've chosen to not include birthdays or anniversaries in this feed.  

Google Calendar Sync Delays

‚ÄčThe way an iCal feed works is that it is your calendar application (Google in this case) which periodically requests an update of the information from Church Social.  In other words, Church Social does not push the data to your calendar, it's your calendar that requests it from Church Social.

Although Google updates the calendar automatically from the Church Social feed, the timescales for this are somewhat unclear and there is no manual way to force the update. Some observers have suggested Google updates every few hours, but Google themselves quote it may take up to 24 hours, although in exceptional cases we have seen it take as long as 48 hours.