Fighting Back Against COVID-19

Stories of Hope No 1

The first in a new series of good news stories show-casing what parishes are doing to combat the COVID-19 situation and keep their ministry moving forward.

If you have a story you would like shared – please get in touch with Keith Blundy [email protected]

Parishes across the Dicoese of Durham are using creative ways of being Church inorder to reach out to their congregations and communities whilst the country finds itself in lockdown amidst COVID-19.

For many parishes, Live Streaming has become the norm in the last few weeks, for others, this has come at a time where they were thinking of how to use digital technology in their ministry and the ‘Lockdown’ has given the final push to jump at the opportunity.

One such parish is Hillside Church in Lobley Hill nr Gateshead – The Revd Glen MacKnight takes up the story.

A digital kick up the backside
We knew that our recording equipment at Hillside needed to be updated.
New technology had largely dispensed with DVD recording and the playback quality was no longer satisfactory.
“We need to stream our service.” That was the opinion of Abi and Matthew.
 I agreed but inwardly felt a little nervous at the prospect of making mistakes in front of the camera.
My Training Incumbent would point out how I would occasionally re-order sentences in the liturgy.
My excuse was that parts of the liturgy were in Yoder speak; I was unconsciously modernising it.
Then a member of the congregation offered to buy the equipment needed to do the job.
We had just started on a fact finding mission when Covid-19 struck. Church closed.
    • How do we maintain contact with our people?
    • They say Necessity is the Mother of Invention,
    • in our case necessity became the mother of a kick up the backside.
We used what kit we had – a computer, a borrowed webcam and a Zoom account.
Andy and Keith got us up and running on that first Sunday, with me leading from the Church and Andy preaching from home.
It worked and folk were blessed. We still have a lot to learn but we’ve stepped out and done it.
Maybe it wasn’t Necessity’s kick up the backside but God’s.
The Revd Glen MacKnight – Hillside Church, Gateshead
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