M Recorder July2020

Online Services could fill the Great Hall ten times over

Since the UK-wide lockdown was introduced in March, all church buildings were closed, and churches have to look at different ways of operating. Methodist Central Hall Westminster opted to ‘live-stream’ their services via YouTube so that they could reach the maximum number of people. Since mid-March MCHW has reached over 156,000 individuals and families from all over the world – their service on Sunday, 5th July has attracted over 20,000 views in its first week, audiences that would have filled the historic Great Hall ten times over!

At first, MCHW broadcast from an innovative ‘SmartStage’ studio delivered by their AV Partners, White Light Ltd. However, since measures were eased in June, Revd Tony Miles, Superintendent Minister at MCHW, has been broadcasting live from the Chapel inside the historic building and he is joined by other contributors from across the country via Zoom. Revd Miles said, ‘During the war years William Sangster would fill the Great Hall for evenings services, many of whom were gathered from other churches and beyond. Today, during a crisis of a different kind, MCHW is reaching even greater numbers by making use of new technology. We are encouraged that these services are serving the wider Church and also impacting the lives of those who wouldn’t normally attend a church service.’

Dan Forshaw, Communications & Digital Media Co-Ordinator at Methodist Central Hall Westminster said, ’We realised quite early on that some form of live-streamed Sunday service was going to continue for the long-term. We are delighted to bring the mchw.live website online so that as many people as possible can find an easy way to take part in our church services online. Our developers have worked closely with us to ensure the new site has everything people will need to interact with the services, be that singing, praying and listening to the sermon all from the comfort of their own home.’

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