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Community Live Streaming and Group Meetings

by Peter V. Stanley in Shireoaks, England, United Kingdom



raised in 67 days



Providing equipment to live stream services, events, community groups + simple devices for the vulnerable/elderly access our online content.

by Peter V. Stanley in Shireoaks, England, United Kingdom

The Benefice of Christ Church Worksop and St. Luke’s Shireoaks has two Church buildings, Christ Church is about 50 years old and St. Luke’s is over 150 years old. We serve a community which covering Worksop, Shireoaks and Rhodesia which comprises of some of most deprived communities in the area. Prior to the coronavirus crisis, we had a presence on social media but we were not live streaming our services and events. We are now through limited and borrowed items of equipment live streaming 3 services on Sundays from the Vicarage with further contributions via video recordings. From day 1 we experienced a high demand for live streaming and more people watching the services than we would normally expect on a Sunday. In addition to the Sunday Services we are also using the technology to continue to hold weekly home groups and other events such as a mental health series, "Virtual Coffee Mornings" and “Virtual Pub” sessions. We aim through this project to develop other outreaches such as Marriage Courses, Parent Courses and Nurture Courses (Alpha). What is evident is that this is reaching a far broader community and not limited by geography. We expect this to grow organically. However, key missional online events will certainly increase interest. For example: Our Special Family Service will count with special guest Gemma Hunt. Gemma is the presenter of BBC and CBEEBIES program SWASHBUCKLE and a co-presenter of the Alpha Course. We expect it to attract many new people to watch our services. Whilst some members of the congregations are getting to grips with the technology for the first time, we recognise the large number of people who are normally isolated due to of illness or age who we are not reaching out to. Consequently, the project focusses on supporting and enhancing the work initiates as a response to the current crisis. However, it’s also looking ahead at how we serve the community better by being more accessible to those who would struggle to join us at Church. We are therefore looking to install in both churches the capability to live stream our Sunday services, Funerals, Weddings and relevant church and community events. We also recognise the need to be able to live stream from other locations – clearly at the moment that is mostly from the Vicarage, but we envisage that this could be from other places in the community, such as the Village Hall in Shireoaks which is owned and run by the church. We know from the feedback through social media that people appreciate what we are doing and that whilst some of them will return to church once the restrictions are lifted, a good number of people will want/have to continue to connect with the services online. Community and electoral roll members actively inform us that the services are valued. We recognise that some people are not able to manage the technology. To address this, we want to provide a suitable simple device, such as Facebook Portal, to those unable to afford to buy or rent the device. We have identified 20 people who would benefit from having a simple device to access the services. There is also a potential spin off from the device in providing a simple video conference facility to connect people to relatives and friends. We believe that this will benefit a large number of people, especially in the long term the elderly and housebound as it provides key infrastructure that can be used during other times of crisis. E.g.: Floods and bad weather. The funding will be used to purchase, install and provide training for the following equipment in the two churches and a mobile unit. Video Mixer, Stream Deck Camera, Lights/Screen, Tripods USB Audio Interfaces, Cables Microphones, Feedback Monitors Presentation Software, Instagram Mobile Kit Laptop The estimated cost for this part of the project is £12,784 A further £ 3,000 is required to purchase and configure 20 devices to be used by the elderly / housebound to watch the services.

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