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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Facebook Live used by local churches during coronavirus pandemic

Reporter Jonathan White

Facebook Live logo: https://en.facebookbrand.com/facebookapp/assets/facebook-live/ .

Facebook Live used by local churches during coronavirus pandemic

Several local churches are using online social media to broadcast live services during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The churches are each using Facebook Live to allow parishioners to view live streams of the services that cannot currently be attended. Viewers are encouraged to add comments, a Like, a Heart, or a photo to provide an interactive element to proceedings. The services are also saved, so can be watched back at a later date. The Service Order can be downloaded or viewed from some of the churches to able parishioners to join in with the service wherever they live. Prayer requests can be emailed to the church to pray for once the stream has finished.

In light of the strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus announced by the prime minister today (23/03/2020), future live services will continue but be broadcast from home.

Local churches offering Facebook Live broadcasts include:

-St. Mary's Church, Nantwich https://www.facebook.com/stmarysnantwich . The church can also be contacted by email: office@stmarysnantwich.org.uk and telephone: 01270 620668. Revd Dr Mark Hart, Rector at St. Mary's Church, Nantwich, said: “We have to keep in touch with each other through this time. Phone calls will be key to this, especially for people who don't have access to the internet, but live-streaming gives a sense of being together and sharing in worship. The interactive service has been very well received thus far.”

-St Mary's, Wistaston and St Luke's, Willaston https://www.facebook.com/stmaryandstluke/ . The church can also be contacted by email: revd.mike@stmaryswistaston.org.uk and telephone: 01270 567119. Revd Mike Turnbull, St Mary’s Church, Wistaston, said: “Our thoughts go to our parishioners, staff and colleagues who are isolating or having to keep away at the moment. It is lovely to read the comments after each service and see how many people valued and took comfort from the live-streaming. We plan to continue them in some form through the current crisis.”

-Parish of Crewe: St Andrew with St John the Baptist https://www.facebook.com/groups/standrewschurchcrewe/ . The church can also be contacted by email: catherine.cleghorn@hotmail.com and telephone: 07813117385. Revd Catherine Cleghorn, Curate of St Andrew's, All Saints' and St Peter's, Crewe, said: “Life is changing very rapidly for us all in these anxious times, and we are finding new ways to be church communities, whilst still focusing on prayer and action. God’s love for us all has not changed, and we are hoping to help people to feel connected to God, to each other and to our churches. We are also working with our councils, our MP, and other community organisations to provide care and support for those who need it.”

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