Coronavirus, the Lockdown of 2020 and the constantly changing restrictions had – and continue to have – a significant impact on the Church.
We started Online services from week 1 of Lockdown. Since then we have developed a consistent online presence through weekly services and midweek talks on Youtube. We also have regular online input for kids, families and young people. Online services have drawn over twice as many people as would usually attend and it has been good to be able to engage with new people – both locally and globally.
Rev Tom Coopey has led these services from places as varied as a country field, the Weymouth beach and even from a kayak out on the deep sea! (as featured in the local Press – Dorset Echo).
Recording teaching for Sunday morning – on a Kayak…
…and preaching into camera along the beach.
Tom says: “I’ve been really encouraged by feedback we’ve had from literally all over the world from our Virtual Services. COVID stopped us physically meeting for a while but didn’t close down the Church community. In fact quite the opposite. People are really open and turning to God, seeking spiritual comfort and help. All over the UK, people have found themselves participating in church who would never normally think of doing so. In fact a recent survey shows that a third of 18-35 year olds had viewed a Church service only in around 6 weeks of lockdown.”
Coronavirus restrictions have also prompted us to develop our social media presence and now the church has very active Twitter account as well as Facebook pages and online community groups.