Church online during COVID-19

For much of 2020, as congregations have been unable to hold services in their church buildings, interest in providing online services has grown.

Some churches have extensive experience in providing online worship; others are new to reaching out online. We have gathered a range of resources to answer your questions on livestreaming, copyright and providing audio services.

If you are experiencing any Covid-related symptoms, are feeling unwell or you, or a member of your household have received a positive Covid test please do not attend Church for any reason until you have completed a 14 day self-isolation period.

Offering worship and prayer via telephone

Several churches have noted that many congregation members are not used to accessing video or information online. Many of these churches have found that telephone outreach is the best way to stay in contact.

Rev Bryan Kerr at Lanark Greyfriars has been offering audio church services through a telephone service, which he is now sharing with other congregations. You can offer an audio church service on demand by signing up through Lanark Greyfriars Church.

The technology business Switched On Network hosts a YouTube channel where you can watch a step-by-step video guide to setting up your own phone number to provide audio worship and prayer using the commercial provider Twilio.

Streaming, video and photography

The Law Department has created a comprehensive guidance that covers safeguarding, copyright, music and lyrics licensing, as well as issues identified by CARTA, the Committee on Church Art and Architecture. The guide offers practical information and advice as well as a case study.

Using Zoom

The Church of Scotland is using Microsoft Teams as a platform for networking and small group videoconferencing; however, some congregations are using other videoconferencing platforms, with Zoom the most commonly used. The Church of Scotland cannot recommend using Zoom because of its track record of serious security and privacy flaws. However, the Law Department has created a guidance to enable congregations that are using Zoom to do so as safely as possible. .

Further guidance

If you need further help with anything in this guide, or are looking for support in online worship in general, you can send an email to the Faith Nurture Forum staff.