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Daveperc
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Post by Daveperc » Fri May 29, 2020 3:00 pm

Hi all,
First, just to introduce myself, I'm Dave, I worship in the Oxford diocese, and have been involved in the online world for a while, though not here!

I'm really interested in the experience of this community, particularly in light of the apparent "spiritual awakening" that is being spoken about a lot in the Christian press.

Have you had lots of people coming to explore here? Have they come with just a passing interest, or have they come with deep existential questions of life? Are they looking to be "entertained" or do they want to become disciples?

I ask because these are all questions we need to ponder on in our local church as we start to explore whether to continue to be: a "church online" (ie we are basically broadcasting our building based worship); an "online church" (a community based online like this one); or some hybrid welcoming people in both spheres, and perhaps mixing these two communities in some way.

Really interested to hear your thoughts, and particularly your experiences - and of course a pointer to any other resources etc.

Many thanks
Dave

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Fri May 29, 2020 4:13 pm

Hello, Dave.

Welcome.

The local churches of various denominations in my parish and the adjoining ones are meeting online for worship and chat from people's homes twice a day. It's more or less the same churches who've been getting together for Lent courses, Christmas and Easter timetabling, and various events for forty years. It's friendly and focussed. What liturgy there is comes from the CofE Morning Prayer and Compline services.For the last twenty or so years my own churches have been online. I count i-church as my primary one, but since lockdown it's been a tremendous treat to interact with fellow worshippers whose faces I can see and with whom I can sing now the technology is up to it.

Judged by the news and what I can see myself, there are four or five times as many people going to Church now that the access is convenient and available than there have been for decades. To answer one of your questions: I don't see why such popular online fellowship and worship can't continue as an addition rather than a replacement once the buildings are open again for gatherings.

Daveperc
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Post by Daveperc » Fri May 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Hi Joyce

Many thanks :thumbs:

I am familiar with the statistics, and though our local streamed services aren't seeing quite that level of interest there are certainly more people online than at our typical Sunday service. Quite a few are old regulars who had drifted away for a variety of reasons, notably the pressures of family life (Sport for children, visiting grandparents, etc) plus the lure of shopping, leisure activities etc. With almost all of these not possible at present they are popping on the local church service and joining us from their breakfast table. That then of course raises the question of how many will remain when the displacement activities return.

And that brings me to my second question - how have you welcomed and engaged the newcomers? Some I suspect come online, but not to church itself, because it's safe, anonymous, and they can dip in and out as they wish. How do we really engage with them, start a conversation (beyond "How are you"?) and gradually lead them towards becoming disciples online?

Thanks
Dave

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Fri May 29, 2020 6:25 pm

I'm afraid I don't know how newcomers to this newest form of online services are usually welcomed. Some people who'd changed so much with grey hair and wrinkles since they last saw me that they didn't recognise me any more :) thought I was a newcomer when I first Zoomed in and asked me questions and spoke to me in the way congregations do anywhere. They asked me if I was new to the area, introduced themselves, asked me if I wanted to know anything,chatted, talked about the locality and so on.
It's pretty much the same way as has been the case with older forms of online worship. There's usually a group of members who know when a new person enters the room.Not much different from B and M churches.

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Post by Ernest » Sat May 30, 2020 7:53 am

My parish has adapted quickly to online worship. It may have helped that our Vicar has a background with Apple so IT literate and used to video conferences during his previous life.

We started of using Zoom, but after a couple of services which went relatively well, the limitations of the licence available without a professional licence meant that the duration of services and followup was limited to 45 minutes max. Also the security issues surrounding it, meant seeking a different solution. He was using his Iphone with a small tripod to film the services and live broadcast.

We moved to facebook live, starting with the bare bones, than adding software called Obbs, which enabled text of services and audio input of music, pre-recorded hymns from a CofE system and licence to make the services appear quite normal. I was able to record sermons, other intercessions and readings to be input to the service as we progressed. This has worked well for the past few weeks and services are now the norm. There have been glitches when the broadband is overloaded from close to his vicarage (we started broadcasting from church & when all churches were closed, moved to his vicarage study).

Three people are involved. The vicar, his spouse who does some readings and prayers, and his 13 year old daughter who is much more expert on digital media than any of their family, who acts as the MC and coordinates the changes from live stream to music or audio as needed. A cooperative effort.

We have found that those viewing or participating are a mix of regular congregation who have the necessary tech experience to join in easily and those new, who have joined us, and some have even signed up as parish members by completing standing orders for collections.

A couple of weeks in, we installed software which enables online giving, including options for giving which also allows for people to gift aid their giving.

We are working to consolidate more people and we also send copies of videos to people who are not on facebook to allow them to view the services online without committing to sign up. However, a number of older members have actually taken the plunge and have joined our facebook group and are not active participants in services and online. We also use whatsapp, which allows people who want a secure connection but don't want to use facebook which has an additional 35 active members, who get the live stream a bit delayed.

In addition, the live stream goes through our Churches Together Website, so people who are not members can watch it online without actually interacting by responding through comments on facebook.


We normally would have a weekly coffee morning so, again from week 1 we operated a virtual coffee morning for people, at first on Zoom, but latterly using facebook rooms. They are well attended and attract upto 20 participants, the advantage being no artificial time limitation as we had with zoom.

I edit the parish magazine, which in normal times in print has a circulation of around 100 a month. We've now published it online for three months as a PDF, but constructed using Microsoft Publisher, which means that we are getting around 80 or ninety downloads, along with a mailing list of a further 25 people who've asked to receive it via that medium.

We can't wait to get back into church and physical meetings, although how that will work, we are working out. Music forms a major part of our worship, but how we can operate a choir using social distancing has still to be worked out.

But it is obvious that we will have to continue to live stream for some who can't make it to church, so are going to have to adapt our inchurch tech to cope with this. Whether that is affordable we don't yet know. The other issue will be using paper based prayer books or orders of service will be banned, so we will need to think of perhaps streaming these things to people using mobile devices or tablets or their own. All questions for the future.

Our experience has been one of hasty learning, mistakes and some failures. An example being the Vicar telling bible stories online from a well known childrens bible, only to given a cease notice by the publisher unless we pay unaffordable royalties to them.

We are also financially stretched, no income from collections, lettings of our hall or weddings and funerals are causing anxiety, While people who give have stepped up their giving, many are not able to do in straigtened services, having lost considerable income themselves. Another hurdle to face in the future.

Overall, our experience is positive, but we don't want to be existing online forever, we want the benefit of gathering physically and virtually in our future shape of church.
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Post by rogerjames » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:35 am

This is a hugely important and exciting issue, Ernest. I'm a bit surprised there has been no response - so I'll offer something. Faith has embraced new technology successfully, in art, sculpture, music, dance and drama, clay and wax tablets, parchment and papyrus documents, paper, the printing press, the book, photography and film, radio, TV and now the digital age. In all of this we seek to be a congregation as described in Rowan Williams' book on St Benedict. He reminds us that "No Christian is a Christian alone" and "all time can be sanctified".

To me any endeavour in faith through mass media needs to meet one objective - participants act as a congregation, whatever their diversity, perspectives, emphasis, inclination or tradition. Few of us are called to be hermits.

Can the "mind's eye" give us a 2-way picture superior to that of Zoom, I wonder?

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:36 pm

'Online Mission and Ministry' by our own Pam Smith, the CofE''s web pastor ,addresses your points and includes responses to the questions you're asking and we"ve been asked many times.
It's in paperback by SPCK and is also available in Kindle form..
Also, a search of this site should help you find a number of posts about your interest, especially where we've helped people with their PhDs, GCSEs, A levels, BsCs and several other initials :) researches. Your view of how we embrace new means of communication for fellowship, worship and mission is fundamental. We pretty much all agree with that one.

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Post by Pam » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:39 am

Thanks for the mention, Joyce! The inspiration for the book was the number of times we were asked for ideas by students at different levels.

We also had a member, Tim Hutchings, who wrote his PhD about online church, for which he conducted interviews with many members of online churches. Tim has now produced a book called Creating Church Online, which may answer some of your questions.

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Post by Joyce » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:31 am

Thanks, Pam. I didn't know the book was out. Good for Tim ! I remember him well. I wonder if for the next edition he'll need to add a chapter about what's happening all over the country now ? I suppose it's not exactly 'Online Church', though, more a mere matter of hundreds,possibly thousands, of churches going online.

I'm enjoying the present online system, much as I've always liked the others - all of them on Tim's list as it happens - but I can see it may be difficult to keep up for very long the current way of members coming together a couple of times a day ( as in my local parishes ) from their several homes and taking part in services but I hope they'll at least set up online streaming of their regular services like Deddington used to.
BTW Deddington streamed into youtube as well as computers, so that anyone who can get youtube on their telly could see and hear the service beautifully. It's possible to see some old services still there and there are recordings of their latest way of doing things.

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Post by Joyce » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:29 am

I went to Tim's book's amazon.co.uk :ereader: page
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... ecda59cb4e

and clicked on Look inside. There's an amazing amount of information. I've found out quite a lot I'd not known before just from what was available free of charge. At just under £30 to read more, it will have to wait for my birthday.

I can recommend it to all who like reading about themselves in a scholarly work.

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Post by Pam » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:49 pm

Joyce wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:31 am
Thanks, Pam. I didn't know the book was out. Good for Tim ! I remember him well. I wonder if for the next edition he'll need to add a chapter about what's happening all over the country now ? I suppose it's not exactly 'Online Church', though, more a mere matter of hundreds,possibly thousands, of churches going online.
Tim is still working in academia, so I'm sure he'll have his eye on what's happening at the moment.

Many dioceses are drawing a distinction between 'online church' - a church which exists mainly online - and 'church online' - traditional churches going online as an additional activity. It remains to be seen what happens when church buildings start re-opening.

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Post by rogerjames » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:28 am

I've ordered a copy of your book, Pam - looking forward to that. Very much take your point that: "Many dioceses are drawing a distinction between 'online church' - a church which exists mainly online - and 'church online' - traditional churches going online as an additional activity. It remains to be seen what happens when church buildings start re-opening."

Ministry teams like ours will have many stories to tell of lessons learned. I'm wondering if it will become more routine for us to livestream future church services if the experience of using Facebook proves successful. I also wonder if biosanitary recommendations will result in a very different use of space and modes of worship within church buildings. R.
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Post by Pam » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:02 am

The offline church I belong to is starting to grapple with what returning to the church building will look like. It doesn't seem likely, in a very old village church building, that we're going to be able to return to anything like the previous pattern of services, with people at the main morning service seated close together in pews. I think we're going to have to be really imaginative to try and imagine how the 'new normal' should look and feel.

I can't help feeling that we should be prayerfully reconsidering the shape of our services, and look at what is needed in each locality.

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Post by Ernest » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:01 am

i think that we will have to plan out the church layout to provide spaces for people to sit as families. Our side pews can seat three, so taping off every other pew would work.

The central aisles would be more difficult, but given the two metres gap might prove a challenge, unless that distance is actually reduced (there have been some discussions on that in the media). But again, taping off every other pew and limiting the numbers sitting in each pew with markers on the pew itself to seperate family groups, might work.

The real issue will be prayer books and hymn books, the idea is that the virus can be passed on by physical paper based things, so I anticipate them having to be removed, unless, people own their own and bring them with them. An alternative would be to give people their own hymn or prayer books to take home and clean themselves and bring back weekly. Not a problem for me as I have my own which I use for services, including one with all of the lectionary readings in.

The pew bibles will have to be removed and the bible on the reading stand will have to be removed, and perhaps the readings being printed as once only and put onto the lecturn and disposed off immediately afterwards.

Communion shouldn't be an issue as even before the lockdown we had asked people to space out. We'd been visibly using sanitiser and communion in one kind was given.

We had also stopped the physical aspects of the peace and we were all taught the sign language for "Peace be with YOU" to make to each other, just turning around in the pews, and no scrum in the aisles.

Cleaning before and after services will be an issue. All of us who clean are over 70, but it will be arduous wiping down every surface being touched. A nightmare for elderly people. And our cleaning equipment will have be cleaned before and after use. We have several large vacuams (we are carpeted) so perhaps the carpets will need to come up to enable the underlying wooden floors to be washed and disinfected. All of this is an issue for the PCC to tackle, but they need to involve the whole congregation, particularly those new ones who've joined us and have even completed electoral roll forms online and emailed them in.

We won't be back in church until after 1st July at the earliest as our Vicar is shielding as is our retired priest who has cancer, under control, but being treated. I am also shielding as Jen is in the vulnerable category given her double pneumonia last year, which has effected her lung capacity. She is off work to September by directions from her employer.

All of this can be overcome, but it will take a dedicated band of volunteers and some money, as will continue to stream services, which we are not currently equipped for. New IT infrastructure will be needed, which frankly, we don't have the resources for. Perhaps we can persuade the Diocese to give us a "Share" holiday to allow us to use the funds released to buy and install what will be needed - but I won't be holding my breath on that one, on the evidence so far. Diocese is also virtually broke, as is the Cathedral. Dodgy days for the church in this diocese.
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Post by Joyce » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:30 am

Ernest, on the book question, why not move the church into the 1970s and use an overhead projector ? :biggrin: There must be schools and churches who've gone over to powerpointing, or even more up-to-date methods, who've got an old OHP or two in their elephants' graveyard they can donate. :biggrin: Seriously, I don't have a regular B and M because I only go to other peope's churches when I'm taken so I don't know what goes on everywhere, but I must admit I've not seen books in regular use for forty years or more.

Isn't the sort of super-cleaning you're worried about used only on premises where there's been a known infection ? If it's really a problem, why not have services somewhere else where there are fewer difficulties ? Could you appeal for some catering company to loan a giant gazebo or a marquee they can't use at present to erect on the park ? The older members might remember that services in those were fun when they were young and happy-clappy.

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Post by rogerjames » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:25 pm

Very interesting comments. We have very similar dilemmas here and I have no idea as yet which way the "Group" will turn. We already have the issue of small congregations in "lumpy" listed buildings - to borrow a term from economics. We can probably stratify the options according to typical congregation sizes:
Midweek communion of say 12 + celebrant; Sunday services 30 - 50 perhaps. I don't yet know what the on-line congregation has been over the past couple of months.

Small corporate acts of worship are easy to accommodate with social distancing. It's the big services that will need careful managing. I can envisage an on-line component becoming a permanent feature of these and I like that idea that these could then be followed in local care homes and by anyone who is housebound. It's the special occasions that will need thinking through - baptisms, confirmation, weddings, funerals, Remembrance Day, carol services etc. Exciting but mind-boggling.
R.
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Post by Pam » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:56 pm

The Diocese of Oxford did an experiment with live streaming of services, which I think Joyce has mentioned above. Once aspect of this was the screening of a local service in care homes, followed by communion by extension being taken straight out to them, to give the nearest possible experience of being part of the congregation for the communion service. I'm not sure if this has been written about anywhere.

Live online streaming of church services has been going on a long time, though not in the C of E so much. I think some research needs to be done into the numbers of additional people reached, and what they are getting out of it. There seems to be a general assumption that all these people will be keen to attend church once they've got used to it in streamed services. If it turns out that there is a genuine appetite for online services among people who don't want to attend churches in person, that might be quite a challenge.

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Post by Joyce » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:53 pm

There seems to be a general assumption that all these people will be keen to attend church once they've got used to it in streamed services.
:biggrin: :lol:

If it turns out that there is a genuine appetite for online services among people who don't want to attend churches in person, that might be quite a challenge.
:biggrin:

Remember when we used to have the chapel on here and the times we'd describe what we were doing or wearing at home ? Eating, still in curlers, drinking, still in pyjamas,keeping an eye on the dinner, knitting, baby - feeding, toddler-watching, taking time out in a separate room for a few quiet minutes, are just a few of the ways over the years we could worship conveniently or fit it in around other things we had to do.
My guess would be that B and M churches will find they have not only a new chunk of congregation to cater for, but probably fewer of the former attenders turning up once they've experienced the option of taking part in services without the distracting stress of having to dress up and get somewhere by a certain time on yet another morning of the week.

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Post by Ernest » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:21 am

One of the things that we've identified is that our midweek communion service BCP is well attended. Sometimes over 20 people. And for many of them, this was their sabbath.

We've maintained this with a mid-week service online. And many of those who used to attend mid-week join us online, and those who don't do facebook, get to view the resulting video as I email the link to them straight after the service.

There is or was, a social aspect to this as we ran a coffee morning immediately after the service and most stayed, perhaps with more freedom than after the Sunday main service coffee. We could set up small tables and chairs and sit around and gossip in a circle, and mutual support and pastoral care took place on the fly.

Whether this could continue without social distancing will be down to trial and willingness of people to space themselves out and have their more intimate conversations across the room. And additional cleaning will have to take place, another burden for those who do it.

We run an online coffee morning in place of the Friday Coffee morning, which normally takes place in the church hall. We use facebook rooms and people join by invitation posted on the closed facebook group page. The normal one, has a charity sale, which attracts people who are not in church, but who stop and chat, have a drink an some cake and make donations, which go to charity. I noticed that very few of the non-church people join in with out services, online or offline.

We are missing a chunk of people who normally associate themselves with the church, and come to our monthly lunch club as well. I know that someone who runs the coffee morning keeps in touch with them, but on an ad-hoc basis, not as a real part of our outreach and pastoral care. They can't share the contacts with the church, because they are personal connections and data protection rules preclude it. Sometimes these rules hinder our ability in a situation like the lockdown to reach them in fellowship as we'd normally meet them in the flesh.

I suspect that they will return in the future, but how will they view the missing links from the church during the lockdown?

And I'm not around in church, where they often used to pop in to light a candle as the doors are firmly shut and are likely to be so until at least the 4th July?

I miss their friendship and company, as well as those who I am in contact with by phone or messenger from our main congregation. Every one is important to me as they are to God, and whether in church, out of church or online, they are members, even if loosely of our gathering. Just another challenge not yet resolved.
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Post by Joyce » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:29 am

We are missing a chunk of people who normally associate themselves with the church, and come to our monthly lunch club as well. I know that someone who runs the coffee morning keeps in touch with them, but on an ad-hoc basis, not as a real part of our outreach and pastoral care. They can't share the contacts with the church, because they are personal connections and data protection rules preclude it. Sometimes these rules hinder our ability in a situation like the lockdown to reach them in fellowship as we'd normally meet them in the flesh.

I suspect that they will return in the future, but how will they view the missing links from the church during the lockdown?


Your local radio station no doubt has daytime programmes with a lot of conversations about the effects of the virus arrangements. They'll be looking for people to interview in their spots. You could approach them and talk about this, saying how they can get in touch.

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Post by rogerjames » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:10 pm

Hello Joyce. Hope all's going well for you. We're doing fine.
Up to now I have not gone down the Zoom/Skype route - being a firm email fan, with some posting on a forum or two. I am investigating how best to do it with our somewhat limited line speeds. I have a new purpose built pc and an old HP backup now upgraded to SSD - so I should be OK for what I do. We have tried Zoom on an i-Pad where everything is there are ready to use, but size is not that brilliant. Also the eyes are not as good...

I think it is a wise precaution of get a suitable system ready as there is no knowing when we will see a return to any kind of normality - certainly as far as worship in a congregation is concerned.

Stay safe.

Roger
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Post by Ernest » Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:57 am

Some thoughts on recovery and return to church.

We need to do things differently. Yes, but how?

First will be provision for having a rota for attendance at indoor services. This will be necessary to ensure that social distancing is possible. It has been suggested that ticketing could work? But implementing it would be expensive and difficult to police. What sort of confrontation would be faced when someone turn up without a ticket? Turned away once, and never to return.

Second. Resourcing the equipment and consumables necessary to ensure cleaning is in accordance with the guidance to professional standards. Again this will be expensive and costly in terms of finding the people (who are under 70) to implement it.

Third Access and numbers: Our Church can seat 500. Albeit some seating in the gallery is not used due to health and safety risks with the access, via an external stair case in wet or inclement weather. Early services and later services and midweek services are not an issue (before the Lockdown) as we had a maximum of 20 at them, social distancing is simple and people will comply, but main services will definitely present an issue, where we can get over 100-150 for family services. Partitioning pews with markers is simple, but some larger family groups with 3 or 4 children will be a challenge.

Fourth: Children[s Area. Many younger families have their children in the area, with some supervision. It would be impossible to have social distantencing in this area, so we will need to close it, a deterrent for younger children being brought to services.

Fifth: Choir Stalls. Yes, we can partition them by markers, but we can only seat 30 normally (average attendance by choir (Adults and Choristers) is about 20, patently social distancing would be impossible. More seating would be needed, which we don't have the space for. So, perhaps the front pews would have to be reserved to accommodate them.

Sixth: Singing. Some mixed advice about singing (choir or congregational) of how the virus can be transmitted by people singing. It is suggested that blocking every other pew to provide social distancing is necessary and will overcome this. I don't know enough about this, but it seems that some churches that have reopened have done so without singing and just listen to recorded music. This wouldn't be popular as we'd all want to join in. So at the moment, this is something still to be worked out.

Seven: The Peace. Not an issue, because before the lockdown we had already stopped the handshaking and hugging, with people using the sign language means of using "Peace be with you" to each other, turning to face others without leaving the pews.

Eight: Communion. We know that Communion in one kind was already in place before the lockdown. But people still stood in line and knelt at the altar rails to receive communion. We will have to introduce social distancing lines and receive in turn at two communion points in the nave. We do this anyway at larger services with numbers above normal. And receiving in one kind, reduces the need to have both Wafers and Wine distribution. Maneagable.

Nine: Processions. We process at the start and end of services. This will probably continue, socially distanced. The alternative is to quietly go to set places before the start of the service.

Ten: Socialisation. This is an important part of our services. At least 70 per cent of people stay for coffee or tea and biscuits and chat and catch up after a service. Much parish business is also done at this time. The serving area is small and with seats. If these are removed it will mean everyone standing, not an issue for many, but social distancing will not be possible, unless people spread out around the church. Not a good option for those cleaning up after the service, with the potential for spills and crumbs in pews or trodden into the carpet.

Eleven: Outdoor services. Possible, but weather dependent. Social distancing would be easy, as we have spacious church gardens. But we also have busy roads with traffic noise, which even during remembrance services present challanges to people hearing, despite using broadcast audio via microphones when close together. Socially distanced will challenge many with hearing difficulties, including myself.

Dual Services: Broadcasting via social media for those not able to come to church or not on the rota for a particular service. The alternative to broadcast the service to a seated extension congregation in the Church Hall with someone bring the consecrated elements to distribute to them at the point of communion. Doable, but the broadcast equipment would be expensive and beyond our current means with zero income apart from those who give by standing order etc.

Just a few issues in our particular situation. I'm sure that imaginative solutions can be devised, but I worry about separating our gatherings artificially in this way. Fortunately, it won't be my decision to implement whatever is decided, given that I have seen the House of Bishops guidance to incumbents and PCC's for risk assessments, cleaning regimes, music etc, I am really worried that we are jumping the gun in opening as early as 15th June? Although, our Incumbent has decided that is not possible, as he is still shielding, as are many of us.

God will have a way, we just need to find out what that is?
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
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rogerjames
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Post by rogerjames » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:50 pm

VERY interesting, Earnest. You make me reflect on how the big medieval church buildings were once used, an isolated chancel or "Choir" with formally-arranged inward-facing seating, Decani and Cantoris. Naves, being usually the biggest covered public space in the area, would sometimes be given over to secular things like markets or really massive services. For buildings with a through-flow of pilgrims an ambulatory allowed them to circulate in an organised way without interrupting daily worship. I can see a Decani and Cantoris layout working well in many buildings, as long as the rows were well spaced to allow singing with people in front of you. This arrangement could utilise choir stalls again - ours are seldom used - and are very uncomfortable!

One of the problems with innovation in liturgy, hymns, translations etc is one forgets old favourites you committed to memory - so you are snookered. I have to say I dislike "worshiping at" a digital screen!
R
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Good Words are worth much, and cost little. George Herbert
[Outlandish Proverbs No 155]

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:02 am

Innovations in liturgy are rarely used. We stick to BCP for early and midweek services and use common worship - order 1 for our sung Eucharist and a Service of the Word for family services. So, experienced congregations are used to these types of services.

Occasionally we adapt the Service of the Word for a particular theme. I led one such for the Baptism of Christ last year when we were in Vacancy. And it was quite simple to add in the bits for renewal of Baptism vows to that service.

But music and choral and congregations singing is included in all main services as people love singing, and I think that we need to keep it in, in a moderated way.

I also lead Evensong, the BCP version which included the Congregation responding to the leader, we have a reduced choir as well (evening, so normally child choristers are not included due to school the following day).

I'm sure all of this can be overcome with good will and common sense. It will take imagination and care, but it is doable within the constraints needed to meet the guidelines from the CofE
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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rogerjames
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Post by rogerjames » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:50 am

Ernest wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:02 am
Innovations in liturgy are rarely used. We stick to BCP for early and midweek services and use common worship - order 1 for our sung Eucharist and a Service of the Word for family services. So, experienced congregations are used to these types of services.

Occasionally we adapt the Service of the Word for a particular theme. I led one such for the Baptism of Christ last year when we were in Vacancy. And it was quite simple to add in the bits for renewal of Baptism vows to that service.

But music and choral and congregations singing is included in all main services as people love singing, and I think that we need to keep it in, in a moderated way.

I also lead Evensong, the BCP version which included the Congregation responding to the leader, we have a reduced choir as well (evening, so normally child choristers are not included due to school the following day).

I'm sure all of this can be overcome with good will and common sense. It will take imagination and care, but it is doable within the constraints needed to meet the guidelines from the CofE
As "Churches Together" we tend to get stuck in to whatever is happening here, Ernest. It's a obvious route for a rural population with several dwindling congregations to work together. That is great policy, respect for diversity is a good thing, but I feel everyone needs to be rooted in something stable they can relate to and remember. That's what the Rubric is all about. "Common Worship" is OK - just...

R
Roger James

Good Words are worth much, and cost little. George Herbert
[Outlandish Proverbs No 155]

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