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Churches go digital amid virus crisis

Churches go digital amid virus crisis

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Churches go digital amid virus crisis


Some churches across the island are turning to technology to continue to spread faith amid challenging conditions posed by covid-19.

Last week, many Church of England services were suspended, or carried out from a distance, while all Catholic Church masses were halted in Jersey.

The latter decision came after Bishop Philip Egan Bishop of Portsmouth said that priests should instead "say a daily Mass in a church within their parish but without the faithful".

But many churches have now found a new way to connect with their congregations throughout the public health crisis.

St. Luke's Church is among those to have suspended its public acts of worship following advice from the Dean of Jersey, and is instead deciding to live-stream its services online.

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Pictured: St. Luke's Church is one of the many across the Island who are moving services online.

Vicar Nick Barry took to Facebook to reassure worshippers that the suspension of public worship does not mean that St. Luke's Church had "shut up shop".

He said: "In these changed circumstances, we will have to approach our Christian life in a different way, characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.

"We may not be able to pray with people as we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we will endeavour to offer practical care and support for those who are vulnerable, anxious and in need at this time."

A live-stream of the mass at St. Luke's Church will be available every Sunday and most weekdays on their Facebook page.

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Pictured: People will be able to watch Church services at home on their phones and laptops.

Jersey Baptist Church remains open for Sunday meetings, but its mid-week meetings are under review.

The church has introduced measures to facilitate social distancing by setting aside certain areas for vulnerable people and encouraging churchgoers to refrain from physical contact with each other. They will also be providing a Facebook live-stream for people who cannot attend the services due to illness or self-isolation. 

All services at St. Brelade's Parish Church have been suspended and therefore a live-stream will be available on their website. This will cover the 10:30am Sunday service each week, as well as other services nearer to Easter. 

St. Helier Methodist Church also intends to set up a live-streaming service soon. 

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