Churches embrace technology to help worhsippers during coronavirus outbreak

The Bishop of BurnleyThe Bishop of Burnley
The Bishop of Burnley
The Bishop of Burnley is co-ordinating efforts to ensure parishioners across Lancashire can still worship despite the closure of all churches due to coronavirus.

Leading up to the first Sunday since all public worship was suspended in our church buildings, churches across the Diocese of Blackburn were adapting to the situation created by the coronavirus outbreak using the latest technology available.

This has all been a huge shift in the normal pattern of church life of course. The Diocese has a Coronavirus Task Group chaired by Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley.

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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.”

Meanwhile, and with the help of St James’ Church in Clitheroe, yesterday ‘9am Live from the Diocese of Blackburn’ was broadcast online 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.

St James’ Vicar Rev. Mark Pickett added: “Jesus used a boat, Wesley used a box, today we are using the internet to proclaim the same message of hope, healing and help in these troubled times. It is just another way that we can still be the church even if we cannot gather in church.”

St James also livestreamed to broadcast its own services.