What 3 Words?

We’ve updated the Our Churches page with What3Words codes, but what are they, and how can they save your life?

What3Words is an ingenious system that has divided the whole world into 3×3 metre squares, each represented by three English words. For example the church entrance at St John’s Broadwindsor is: Sweetener Rapport Flight.

Why is this useful? In rural settings such as ours postcodes and road names aren’t necessarily going to be 100 percent accurate. If you get in trouble in the middle of the field how do you easily tell emergency services exactly where you are? Latitude and longitude can be complex and hard to convey in an emergency; descriptions such as “by the large Ash tree” aren’t accurate enough. But three little words pinpoint you in an exact three meter square.

Emergency services are already using What3Words and it has saved lives. You can read all about that in this BBC News story.

What3Words doesn’t require a mobile phone data signal to locate you. So in low signal areas you can still perhaps text or call with your location. Or send someone for help with the three-word location knowing you can easily be found.

But What3Words isn’t just about saving lives. Here in rural locations where postcodes aren’t always accurate, and where many of us have house names rather than numbers, What3Words is a really handy way of giving you exact location to visitors and for deliveries. You can put it on your business address to help customers find you. Lonely Planet Guides uses W3W to help people find exact locations. There are so many uses for this clever system.

From now on we’ll be posting What3Words codes on the site whenever we are posting a regular address for an event or service. And the Our Churches page already has this information.

What3Words is available as a website, and as an Android app, or an IOS app. Download them today, they could save your life – or at the very least become very useful to you.