Advice for parishes
Transferring to online worship can be daunting for parishes. The links below give advice on some of the most commonly asked questions whether you are just starting out or improving your practice.
The Church of England is offering a series of free webinars on live-streaming, social media and innovative ways to reach people remotely:
You might also be interested in this helpful blog about going ‘live’ online: A beginner’s guide to going live with your service or event.
Using social media & Publicising services
These articles, from the Church of England’s Digital Labs blog, share best practice for setting up social media profiles:
- How to create a Facebook page for your church
- How to create a free Instagram profile and business profile.
If you live-stream your church services, please add the ‘Live Stream’ tag to your AChurchNearYou page – it will make it easier for people to find you.
Activities for older adults
The organisation Faith in Later Life has collected resources for parishes looking to keep connected with people who may be reluctant to go digital. Subjects include Activities for Older Adults during Covid-19, What about older people who aren’t online? and Tackling anxiety and fear in the Coronavirus crisis.
Engaging with audiences
Our Mission Teams (Fresh Expressions, Children & Young People, Mission and Evangelism, JPIC) are here to help you to engage meaningfully with your online audiences. They can offer practical support, resources and mission grants for online outreach.
If you would like to know more, get in touch by e-mail. Please also let them know about any projects you are already running, and any ways in which they might be able to support you.
Some parishes have reported incidents of ‘Zoombombing’ (people hijacking video conferencing meetings in a disruptive way). The latest edition of Zoom (Zoom 5.0) was issued on 27 April 2020 containing security enhancements and additional meeting safeguards to help keep your meetings safe from Zoombombing (https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/zoom-v5-0.html). Please ensure that your Zoom account is updated to this latest version.
- Please note that all meetings are now required by Zoom to have a password. Only circulate the meeting password to trusted individuals and please don’t share it online – it’s the same as letting the public know where your spare front door keys are kept!
- To add additional security, we advise that you ask people to let you know in advance that they will be attending the meeting, and to tell you the screen name they will use.
- The Zoom waiting room should now be enabled automatically on all meetings. Check the screen names against your list, and only let in those people you are expecting.
- Screen sharing is now set, by default, to be an option only for the meeting host. We recommend that you keep it set this way to avoid any unwanted interruptions.
For additional security:
a) use password security on any parish live-streams you are planning, and make sure that the password is distributed in a different way from the stream link
b) check the host security settings of the broadcast, to make sure that only the host can allow screen sharing, and if necessary, muting.
- Managing participants in a Zoom meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005759423
- Managing meeting settings in Microsoft Teams: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/meeting-settings-in-teams
- Managing group chats in Skype on desktop: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA34800/how-do-i-manage-group-chats-in-skype-on-desktop