A FOREST church livestreamed its Sunday service for the first time in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Tim Cracknell, of the Forest Community Church in Cinderford, said they had a role in tackling social isolation – but also had to play its part in containing the spread.
It was decided it would be ‘unwise’ for the congregation to gather together as normal on Sunday morning as the elderly members are among those most at risk following the coronavirus outbreak.
So the church discouraged people from attending the service and advised them to watch online instead.
Around 50 of the younger members met at the Parragate Church building before a further 50 older members tuned in to watch live via Facebook.
A recording of the service was then viewed by several hundreds from across the globe throughout the day, with messages of support for the church coming from as far away as Australia.
Pastor Tim Cracknell said: “This coronavirus is affecting everyone in all sorts of ways and it is important that the church plays its part in both limiting the spread of the virus and protecting people from social isolation.
“We are making plans to move our regular events for all age groups onto online platforms using our church website, fcchurch.co.uk, and Facebook pages as tools to enable people across the Forest and Wye Valley to connect in a new way.
“It is especially important to do this as many people are fearful and worried by the uncertainty and need to connect in a meaningful way to release the stress and find hope at this time of need.”
The church said that they found streaming to be an accessible way to reach a wider audience who are unable to attend the church each week.
The church plans to continue streaming its ‘virtual’ Sunday services at 10.30am each week. More information can be found at fcchurch.co.uk or on Facebook by searching Forest Community Church Cinderford.
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