Churches find new ways of worshipping and serving during pandemic

Wednesday 8th April 2020 3:00 pm
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St John's Church, Upper Hale ()

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AS EASTER approaches, the coronavirus pandemic has meant churches are having to find new ways of sharing faith and services.

Much of it using new technology, but also falling back on old methods including telephone calls to support people who don’t have internet.

They are also joining in with efforts to ensure that food and medicines can reach those who are isolated.

Congregations from the three churches in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale – St George’s, St John’s and St Mark’s – have been creating services together, with individuals filming themselves doing readings, prayer or playing instruments and singing.

These are all then put together into services by Rev’d Alan Crawley, joint rector of the parish, and the results shared online at https://badshotleaandhale.org/online-services/ , and on social media.

“A lot of people have said how much they are enjoying the services,” said Rev’d Alan Crawley, “and this week we will be posting something every day.

"This week is Holy Week, the week which leads up to Good Friday when we remember the darkness and pain of Jesus’ death on the cross, and then the joy and hope of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

"We hope that people will find these services helpful at this most difficult time when we all need hope and light.

“We are also acutely aware that there are people who are not online so cannot join in and we are doing our best to ensure that they are managing OK.

"There are many older people in the area who are having to self-isolate and may be doing so alone and without the internet.

"People from the churches are regularly phoning those we know for a chat and to see what support they need.

"There is wonderful work going on through the Farnham and Villages Coronavirus Helpline and we are supporting this and encouraging everyone who can offer help to sign up there. We are all in this together.”

The parish is also sending out weekly bulletins and using its website and social media to keep people informed of help and resources available, whether this is physical, spiritual or emotional, as well as reminding everyone of the importance of social distancing and hand-washing.

“We are going through unprecedented times,” said Alan, “and we are all having to learn how to cope.

"This Holy Week is a reminder that we have a suffering God who walks with us in the dark times as well as the light, and we pray that we can share that hope with others.”

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