New ways to do church
Church, for now at least, is moving solely online – for many of us that’s a new experience, we’re all working it out as we go along, so here are a few suggestions for places to start. If you’ve found something good and we haven’t covered it here, please send us a suggestion on the Contact us page (choose ‘Website editor’ in the recipient drop-down).
Long before church services paused for Coronavirus, the church had several Facebook pages. If you’re not on Facebook yet, you can sign up for an account and find your friends and connect with them, you can then post ‘updates’ about things that interest you, follow ‘Pages’ about different subjects, join ‘Groups’ where you can engage with other people on a particular interest or subject.
As with anything online there is security and privacy to consider, be aware when you post whether what you say is ‘Public’ for anyone to see, just for your ‘Friends’ or limited to specific friends. Within ‘Groups’ comments are generally private to other members of that group.
The church has a Vale of Pewsey Team page, where news items and events are announced. St John’s Pewsey has a similar page, and Stepping Stones is the page of the children & families activities in Pewsey. If other parts of the Team have pages let us know about them!
After the Coronavirus lockdown, Gerald Osborne, our Rural Dean set up the ‘Pewsey Deanery‘ Group to ‘foster a community of fellowship from our own homes’.
Youtube & Vimeo
Youtube and Vimeo are video sharing services where you can find pretty much anything you want, obviously that can be a good or a bad thing! The Vale of Pewsey Team has a channel where we will post any videos such as church services. The Youth, Children & Families team also have a channel, as does the Bishop of Ramsbury. Gerald Osborne, our Rural Dean has a Vimeo channel where he posts reflections and videos. Many of these we will link to from our Videos page but if you would like to see them direct, follow the previous links.
Online church services
While we can’t meet together in a church building on a Sunday, there are exciting new ways to worship springing up. Many big churches have been doing this for a while, ‘streaming’ live services on the internet, and we are starting to try this for ourselves – we won’t match the professional quality of some of the bigger churches, but to still feel a local church community, it’s important we can still ‘meet’ each other as well as enjoying services from the Archbishop, or HTB.
Any services we stream will be announced on this site, and shown on the homepage for you to watch, then later stored on the videos page. Other online services of interest which we find will be announced in news items.
Zoom & Skype
Zoom and Skype are two slightly different video calling services: Skype acts more like a video phone call – you can include several people for group calls and you can choose whether you use video or just audio. Zoom is more like a virtual meeting – you set a time for your meeting and let people with the meeting link ‘join’ the meeting.
Are they secure and private?
Any software that takes over your webcam and microphone should be treated with caution, the security issues are more than we can cover here, but here are some links to get you started:
Is Skype Safe and Secure?
How safe is Zoom?
Zoom has come under criticism of late for their security and privacy – but they have publicly apologised; updated their Mac software against one of the biggest criticisms and have stated they will cease all new feature development for 90 days to focus solely on improving their security and privacy, which is all good news. Setting a password for a meeting is an important way to stop unwanted visitors joining your meeting – this does happen and sadly there are reports of some unpleasant material being posted within meetings that aren’t protected with a password.