Since the Coronavirus pandemic first meant public worship was unable to happen and then churches were closed completely, clergy and laity throughout the Diocese have been working through how they can continue to bring communities together to worship God.
All Saints in Worcester is one of our two resourcing churches and are committed to offering twice daily prayer at 11am and 10pm along with a Sunday morning service, the first of which had around 350 people watching!
James Roe is an Ordinand working at All Saints. He said: “We want to try to ensure we can still be a gathered church, even if we’re not physically together. The aim is to cultivate a rhythm of prayer and encourage one another. We’ve found this has worked particularly well when people have the opportunity to comment on what we’re doing and add in their own prayers – it generates a sense of community. One participant last Sunday even commented that they’d ‘never felt closer as part of the All Saints’ community’.”
Morning and Evening Prayer has been taking place with one or two people hosting and another person moderating – this person is able to explain to those joining in online where they can find the service information to follow along, as well as respond to comments where appropriate. The first Sunday saw worship live streamed from St Helen’s Church and this Sunday it was recorded in a couple of different homes and then edited together before being uploaded to All Saints’ YouTube channel. Home groups have been encouraged to watch together through WhatsApp or a Zoom conference call.
“We’re also trying hard to link people in who don’t have access to the internet, for example encouraging people join in through phone calls,” continued James. “It can be difficult for people to get their head around how to be church in a different way, but it can open new avenues that we hadn’t considered previously. We realise that not all churches are able to do everything that we’re doing and we hope that others from across the diocese will join with us to worship together.”
Find out more about what All Saints are doing along with resources that other churches might find useful on a new section their website: All Saints Everywhere.