14th Aug, 2020

Churches turn to the web to make sure locals can celebrate Easter style

Harry Leach 9th Apr, 2020

LOCAL churches are turning to the internet to make sure people can celebrate Easter in true Christian style.

Regarded as the most important date in the Christian calendar, church officials from vicars to curates have become adept at using YouTube and apps like Zoom to hold virtual services, readings and prayers.

Since the lockdown began, Holy Trinity Redditch, Alcester Minster Churches and Arden Marches – covering Studley, Mappleborough Green, Oldberrow and Morton Bagot – have carried on ministering to their community through the power of the worldwide web, as have other denominations.

Reverend Paul Lawlor, Redditch town centre chaplain and vicar of St Stephen’s, said this adoption of the web raised an interesting dilemma for the Church.

“When this is all over and we hope it will be soon, do we just junk what we have been doing for the past few weeks and say right, let’s get back to the drafty old church and hold services as we used to?” he said.

“Or do we adapt what we have been learning here and evolve? I suspect it will be the latter.”

As it is Covid-19 has made unlikely YouTube stars of local clergy.

“We are used to standing up in front of a group of people and it’s about holding that community together,” said Rev Lawlor.

“At the same time it’s about helping people who are not in regular contact with the Church but who are reaching out for something.”

The traditional Redditch Good Friday Walk of Witness – when the Churches Together in Redditch group carry a cross through the town centre, handing out hot cross buns and palm crosses – will be replaced by a virtual version for Friday, April 10 which will be available from 8am on the Churches Together in Redditch website at https://ctir.church/goodfriday/

There will also be a full range of services celebrating Easter Sunday.

Redditch: https://www.holytrinityredditch.org.uk/

For Holy Trinity Redditch’s YouTube video visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsh_dWJnm8n82G2NwBzrdcw

Churches Together in Redditch: https://ctir.church/

Arden Marches: https://www.ardenmarches.co.uk/coronavirus/online-services/

Alcester St Nicholas: http://www.alcesterminster.org/?LMCL=chfZoG

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