Lancaster churches use latest technology to allow services to go ahead

Churches across the district are adapting to the situation created by the coronavirus outbreak using the latest technology available.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 9:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 9:30 am
RevChris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, has been offering services and morning prayer in his church on Facebook,

Leading up to the first Sunday since all public worship was suspended in church buildings, there has been a huge shift in the normal pattern of church life.

The Diocese of Blackburn, of which the Lancaster district is a part, has a Coronavirus Task Group chaired by Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley.

In a daily briefing to the Diocese before Sunday he acknowledged this shift saying: “Sunday will be very strange for us all. Usually on the Lord’s day it is our duty and our joy to come together to offer praise. Amidst the wonderful air of positivity that many church leaders are bringing to this situation, let’s make space to remember the abnormality of these times....”

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Churches are adapting to the ‘new normal’ by using technology to reach people where they are and to worship.

At Lancaster Priory, Rev Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, has been offering services and morning prayer (9.30am) in his church on Facebook, with up to 1,000 participants online – including international from as far away as the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, and with the help of St James’ Church in Clitheroe, a ‘9am Live from the Diocese of Blackburn’ was broadcast online on Sunday and was led by Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster.

Safe distancing precautions were put in place, with no congregation in attendance and a small number of participants.

Up to 180 devices were tuned in...possibly with many more people watching on each.

More than 1,000 views of the recording have taken place on St James and the Diocesan YouTube channels.

Speaking before the service Bishop Jill said: “This Sunday my prayer is we might find joy together in our pain as we find new ways to meet with each other and with the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, asking him to stop the spread of the virus in our nation and protect all who live in fear.”