with services resuming in churches across the benefice Zoom continues to be a popular way to worship especially for those who are not able to come to church for a variety of reasons from the infirmity of age to having to work and from being resident in a hospice or hospital to being out of county.
St Andrews has a telephone line with a broadband link so Zooming from church was comparatively simple there. St Euny, where they hoped to open a sort of internet café to teach people who are not confident with the technology. Getting BT to put in a line proved to be full of obstacles and so through O2 they obtained a 4gb hub (with a grant) which would provide access for enough devices at the same time. The rest of the benefice has found the hub invaluable for streaming / zooming services from the other churches. A service typically uses a few gbs of data and the cost of the rental is roughly £1 per gb so pretty good value even without a grant.
The nature of the ZOOMING will certainly change over time without the need to stream music from St Martin in the Fields or YouTube but Zooms are set to continue because they are a way of reaching our most vulnerable at the time they need the church the most.. the challenge is reaching those who do not have the technology or no longer have the capacity to use it,
Morning prayer on ZOOM (link by request) is at 9am every morning and continues to be a delight especially when most services begin after we have calmed the participants from a fit of mirthful laughter about the topic of conversation of the morning. There are rarely less than 8 people and often as many as 18 each morning experiencing a variety of styles from Northumbrian Celtic office to Common Worship but usually with the thread of lectionary readings and psalm. One we can go back to church, I don’t see this transferring but rather being a permanent electronic fixture.