How we can still offer church worship in a virtual world

Although services may be cancelled for the time being, there are still ways for parishes to come together, especially in the digital space.

Digital tools for our parishes
There is a multitude of tools available to you to help you connect with your congregation and the wider community of your parish. The focus is around providing access to worship, being part of the community and supporting those who could do with a bit more help.

Services and church gatherings
Live streaming options are available to reach your congregation with encouraging messages and sermons, which are helpful in times of not meeting, so you can keep sharing what you feel God is saying for your church.
• Your content could include a slightly reduced sermon, news for the church and prayer for all those watching (which might include those without faith, who would appreciate the prayer at this time).
• Use a smartphone or computer to run this from your home.
• Tell people how to join. Send an email, post in your Facebook group, share across social media and phone people to let them know when and how to access the service. You can also use social media as a way to invite people to join you who are not part of your church but might be finding these times worrying and would find a connection to church and prayer helpful.

If you aren’t doing these you could point your congregation to churches that are and the Church of England’s Sunday service.

Useful links:
YOUTUBE LIVE TUTORIAL
FACEBOOK LIVE TUTORIAL
GOOGLE HANGOUT – premium version free until July
A beginner’s guide to going live with your service or event for free [Church of England | article] 
The most affordable live streaming cameras for churches [ProChurchTools | Podcast] 
Recording, streaming and podcasting your services [CCLI | Article] 
How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide [Gospel Coalition | Article]
How to stream your Church service on Facebook Live - [CBN | article] 
Songs in the public domain - [CCLI | list] - link
Best practices for going Live from a Facebook Page [Facebook Article] - link
• How to set up to film a video on your phone [Church of England Article] - link
How to make a short film on your smartphone [Saltways Blog] - link

 
Sung worship
For those people will miss sung worship you can create worship playlists. The aim here is to equip people with songs to listen to and sing along to, that help them in their worship and could play a useful part in their rhythm of worship. 

Useful links:
CREATE A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
CREATE A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST

Pastoral visits
Using FaceTime, Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp video calls you can connect, pastorally, with those who need face-to-face connection during this time, especially for those vulnerable or at risk from COVID-19, those living alone, those in isolation or who have self-isolated.

You only need a smartphone or a computer to make this possible, without cost and without leaving your home.

Useful links:
• FACEBOOK VIDEO CALL USING MESSENGER
• FACEBOOK VIDEO CALLING FROM A GROUP
• FACETIME — IPHONE, IPAD OR ITOUCH
• GOOGLE MEET

Small groups and church meetings
Google Hangouts, Zoom and group chats on Facebook can mean that small groups can still meet, talk together and see each other using their smartphone or computer. Community is so important, especially where larger gatherings are not possible, so do encourage your groups to make use of technology to continue connecting with their community.
This can be especially useful if one or more of the group has self-isolated, or if your group would be happier connecting digitally.

Discussions, prayer, encouragement and fun can still happen during this time and are all the more important.

Useful links:
GOOGLE HANGOUTS - premium version free until July
ZOOM
FACEBOOK GROUP CHAT
SKYPE GROUP VIDEO CHAT
• WhatsApp – use this to stay in contact with quick updates, video chat and voice messages
• Microsoft Teams – if you have access to this now is the time to make use of it, you can share messages, documents and call through the one place.

Keeping in contact
It is important that your parishioners have a way to stay in contact and reduce the isolation they feel. You can do this through hangouts, see Small groups section above, and you can also continue to keep in contact and build community through a Facebook group or WhatsApp (for smaller groups as they share phone numbers and have GDPR implications).
• HOW TO SET UP A FACEBOOK GROUP
• CREATING A WHATSAPP GROUP
• WhatsApp – use this to stay in contact with quick updates, video chat and voice messages

Credit - The above text has been adapted from an article from The Diocese of Guilford. 

News & Events

Coronavirus help and support

For all of our help and support pages on coronavirus go to

www.liverpool.anglican.org/coronavirus

National advice

For national advice, digital resources and prayer and worship ideas 

www.churchofengland.org/coronavirus

Contacting our staff

St James House staff are working remotely at the moment and to cut costs we are using the government's Job Retention Scheme. So we have less staff in work so please be patient.

For help and advice please email CentralServices@liverpool.anglican.org. Don't ring us we may not be able to answer. Try not to send post. If you can scan and email please do.. If not email centralservices@liverpool.anglican.org for advice.

Please be patient if it takes longer than normal for us to get back to you