Are you interested what happens to a church during lockdowns? Here is our story of adapting to covid.
Community versus Isolation
Our priority was engagement, trying not to leave people isolated. Being able to watch church services is one thing, but we wanted to provide people with social interaction. So this is what we did, by all means we could think of. Read on for it unfolded…
Changes to Sunday services
Back in February 2020 we started offering a zoom link to our Sunday meetings. At first only one household used this. Zoom was a novelty, and using the ‘mute’ button didn’t seem like a big deal. Within a few weeks came total lockdown, and all meetings moved onto zoom.
The couple who had first started using zoom taught others what to do. The Redding household got setup to lead the service and songs from their kitchen. Using the mute button became a very big deal! And as for everyone trying to sing together, we soon learned ‘don’t even try it.’
Like the rest of the country, we had a few giggles over zoom technicalities. For example, one prayer meeting was about to begin when Ben was heard to yell “Quick help, I’m stuck in space! I don’t know how to get back.” Sadly, there is no screen recording of that moment!
Once allowed to meet again, we started blended services. Socially distanced, masked, but in the same hall as each other. Then with a live video link, we used zoom to bring everyone still at home into the meeting. Zoom enabled people as far away as the Hebrides and Madagascar to join us. At that time no socialising after the service was allowed, so we put on a “coffee time” zoom meeting on Sunday afternoons, for church family chat. We were adapting well to covid, and still learning, this time about the usefulness of zoom breakout rooms.
More Zoom Fun
We hosted a zoom hen party for one of our church family. For the wider village, we produces a lockdown video series on Christmas Carols. Several kind village personalities gave interviews by zoom, to help tell the stories.
From further afield, a recorded conversation with Jeremy Marshall proved popular, because of Jeremy’s winsome gentle way of explaining his hope throughout some tough personal circumstances.
Scroll to the top, or go to youtube for the carol series and Jeremy’s interview.
Returning to normal?
In the late summer of 2021 we held some outdoors meetings, reducing zoom to a video link rather than a fully interactive service. The as the weather became colder we moved indoors. We continued to use Zoom for a plain video link for those at home, though most people came back in person.