Sunday service goes on-line Christian information about Christian As we speak
(Photo: Church of England)
Churches across the country are broadcasting Sunday services in an unprecedented move to the homes of believers after the movement has spread due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On this Mother's Day, worshipers are replacing their usual trip to churches and cathedrals by listening to live broadcasts on TVs, laptops, computers and mobile phones.
The move to live broadcasts coincides with a National Day of Prayer and Action, which brings together the main denominations in Britain.
The Archbishop of Canterbury headed the Church of England's first national virtual church service, which was to be broadcast simultaneously on the 39 local BBC radio stations in England at 8 a.m. and as a Sunday service on BBC Radio 4 before being broadcast on Facebook via the Church of England's page was broadcast at 9 a.m.
The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, will broadcast live 10-minute prayer sessions on his Facebook page at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., including the Lord's Prayer and two Taizé chants.
Peterborough Cathedral is one of the many cathedrals across the UK Live streaming of his ministry, with a holy communion today for Mother’s Sunday, which includes recorded music from the choir. The cathedral will also light candles to commemorate those whose mothers are no longer alive.
Given the strict social detachment measures that the government introduced last week, the Church of England has been working to expand its range of digital and printed resources to help church members attend their home worship services.
In the past few days, the digital team has hosted webinars with around 200 churches explaining how digital platforms can be used to continue reaching their congregations. AChurchNearYou.com, the Church of England's Church Finder website, has been expanded to include more than 300 live streaming services.
It also made its "Time to Pray" app free. The app offers simple prayers and related audio on SoundCloud and iTunes.
Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford and successor to Dr. Sentamu, Archbishop of York, when he retired in June, said: "The Church was never a building, it was always a people.
"We're going to find out what that means.
"From this Sunday the church will meet as usual, but it will not happen in our buildings.
"It will happen in our hearts and in our homes."
Other denominations have made similar changes. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has signposted worshipers for a 24-hour live stream from the National Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, which also includes records of past services.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon said in a letter to the parishes: "In response to the coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives need to change." This includes the way we publicly express our beliefs. "
The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) hosted training webinars last week that explained how churches can use Zoom to broadcast their services live.
A resource page has been set up with practical tips and links for churches that are making the leap into the digital world for the first time. This encourages them to remember those who are less digitally connected.
"Think of older and more traditional technologies," it says.
A regular email, text message, or phone call can help make people feel connected, especially those who may not be on social media and have limited access to technology.
"Indeed, pay particular attention to this group, which may feel the effects of social isolation more strongly," it says.
With no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, the BUGB encourages churches to look at these changes in the long term.
"Since the restrictions on physical meetings are likely to remain for some time, online meetings will become the new normal for our churches," it said.
The Methodist Church has created a resource page with service sheets for those who pray at home and links to livestream services. Wesley's Chapel in London is just one of the Methodist churches across the country that broadcast their regular services live, which have not been adapted for any physical church. They are broadcast every week on:
Wednesday 12:45 p.m.
Thursday 12:45 p.m.
Sunday 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.