Last updated Tuesday, 15 September
Throughout these changing times we are sending out a bi-weekly, short Connect newsletter to keep people up to date with the latest guidance. Sign up to receive it on our Newsletters’ page.
Facebook communicators group
A Facebook Digital Communicators’ group has been set up for parishes to talk about all things digital during these changing times. It is a space for asking questions about new ways to communicate within your parish, for sharing things you have learnt that others may benefit from and a place to you try new things, such as Facebook Live.
31 amazing tools and resources
The Church of England has a really useful list of communications resources in the Digital Labs section of the website. Check out the ’31 amazing tools.’
NHS Track and Trace App
The NHS views the new Track and Trace app is an important part of their efforts to manage the Covid pandemic and they are asking people to use it and help us improve before it launches nationwide. Find out more about the app on the NHS Covid App website, which has a section with important information for organisations, including a link to the Government site which allows you to create your own QR code for your building and poster downloads.
Note, if your church doesn’t have a post code, simply say you can’t find the address and then you will be given the option to manually enter your address.
Posters for reopening
- Download the Church of England printable banners and posters for use in and around church buildings
- A selection of Bath and Wells posters for reopening available to download below. If you would like the original publisher files to edit yourselves, please email the comms team.
- Church Print Hub has made posters available for those churches who wish to publicise that their church building is open for private prayer. They will also be made available on the main Church of England website and through the ACNY Resource Hub along with a customisable video soon.The posters – one for outside the church and one to place inside, feature QR codes that take people to some simple prayers and to light a candle online directly from their phones. We know that some people will be grieving and most will have their families in mind, so these resources are designed to offer comfort when hygiene rules may prevent candles, prayer books and cards being available.You can download the posters below. Printed A3 (or larger) posters available to order from Church Print Hub. Like all the other coronavirus resources, they are free and you will only pay P&P.
- A range of signage and stickers are also available to order from the CPO website.
There are various apps and tools online to help you do this, including Facetime, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Zoom is also used widely and Lay development Adviser, Elizabeth Harper, has produced a number of guides for the Diocese of Bath and Wells.
- The Guide to Joining Zoom Handbook is for those who would like a bit of help getting started.
- The Guide to Leading Zoom is for those with the basic skills who wish to take their Zoom use to the next level
- There is also a brief guide to screen sharing which may be helpful when you wish to share resources when you are streaming services, such as including the latest bishop’s reflection. (Resources can also be downloaded from the bottom of this page)
Elizabeth Harper is also running training courses for those who would like to get started on Zoom and those who would like to improve their Zoom skills. You can find details of these courses and other virtual training courses on the event calendar.
Church of England Digital Labs webinars
If you would like to improve your church’s digital skills to help keep your church connected during this time of social distancing for register for one of the digital team’s webinars.you can
- Receiving online donations
- Five ways to keep your church connected
- Livestream question and answer session
- Make the most of your church near you page
- Youth and young people: keeping connected
- Introduction to Instagram for churches
- Facebook pages for churches
- Paid advertising: boosting a Facebook post
- Facebook groups: keeping a church connected
Digital communication can be really useful in these challenging times, but it’s not for everyone so don’t underestimate the value of picking up the telephone. The following telephone services may also be helpful to you:
- Church of England free dial-in worship phoneline
- Representatives of the different faith communities in the Avon and Somerset police area have set up a dedicated phoneline offering 1-2-1 chaplaincy
- You can also set up your own Dial a Sermon telephone service for your own parishioners who may value it. Bryony Taylor, Rector of Barlborough and Clowne in Derby Diocese has written a great guide for setting one up. (Thanks to Revd Matthew Street of Midsomer Norton Deanery who shared this with us).
Inspiration from around Bath and Wells
While we are not able to live stream from church buildings at the moment, people are sharing worship in a range of ways using digital media.
- Wells Cathedral’s Sunday Eucharist is at 10am every week and is sharing activities for children and music regularly on its social media channels. Visit their new look website to find out all that they are doing while the building is closed during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Frome St John the Baptist has shared a video on their Twitter feed for their parishioners which clearly explains what they can expect their church at the moment.
- Revd Tim Treanor, Rector at Wellington Team, has started a daily podcast, using iKnow Church and accessible via their website.
- The ministry team at Bath Abbey is sharing a daily message on the Bath Abbey YouTube channel.
- St John’s Yeovil is livestreaming a simple act of worship at 10.30am on Sundays in line with latest guidance.
Know of more? Please email the communications team and we’ll add them to the list.