Communications for Coronavirus
During the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID 19) there are several things we can do to make it easier for everyone to communicate while we follow Government advice to socially distance ourselves or to self-isolate. On this page you can find advice to enable you to work from home, carry out pastoral 'visits' using remote methods, share worship online and access further communications support should you need it. Please scroll down to find resources and guidance.
If you're already trying new things we'd like to know so we can let other people learn to, if you haven't already please join the Diocesan Communications Group on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dowdigitalcommunity/) or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For even MORE resources click here:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Hebrews 10:24–26
If you need support with dealing with the media then please contact the Diocese of Winchester media team on 020 7619 9197 or email email@example.com. We are also interested in hearing your creative ways of supporting your community during the current situation. Please let the media team know and also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below there are a couple of options to facilitate meetings.
- It's free to use (up to 100 people on the call)
- Can be used across all devices
- You don't need to download an app
- Can download an app if you want to
- Can use a 'code' for people to be able to join a call
- Free account calls will only last 40 minutes at a time (however nothing stops you from starting a new call straight away)
Download link for the app: https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/
- Free accounts
- Available on all devices
- You have to download the app to be able to use it
Google Hangouts link
Using FaceTime, Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp video calls you can connect, pastorally, with those who need face-to-face connection during this time, especially for those vulnerable or at risk from COVID-19, those living alone, those in isolation or who have self-isolated.
You only need a smartphone or a computer to make this possible, without cost and without leaving your home.
We have had a number of people either 'go live' or want to 'go live' so they are still able to conduct worship and provide support to people around them.
Live streaming options are available to reach your congregation with encouraging messages and sermons, which are helpful in times of not meeting, so you can keep sharing what you feel God is saying for your church.
Your content could be a slightly reduced sermon, news for the church and prayer for all those watching (which might include those without faith, who would appreciate the prayer at this time).
You only need a smartphone or computer to run this from your home, without needing additional equipment.
Post links to these on social media and forewarn your church that you will be using this method so that people are able to join you. You can also use this as a way to invite people to join you who are not part of your church, but might be finding these time worrying and would find a connection to church and prayer helpful.
Guides to setting-up live streaming
- A beginner’s guide to going live with your service or event for free [Church of England | article] -link
- Livestream to Youtube with just a phone [7 step Tutorial]- link
- The most affordable live streaming cameras for churches [ProChurchTools | Podcast] - link
- Recording, streaming and podcasting your services [CCLI | Article] - link
- How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide [Gospel Coalition | Article] - link
- How to stream your Church service on Facebook Live - [CBN | article] - link
- A note about live streaming and song licensing in churches - [James Doc | Article] - link
- Songs in the public domain - [CCLI | list] - link
- Best practices for going Live from a Facebook Page [Facebook Article] - link
Live 2.0 - BeLive.TV: if you want to show text, images, video, have guest speakers please check out belive.tv
Things I've found out:
- This works best on google chrome which can be downloaded here: https://www.google.com/chrome/
- If you want to screen share, it will ask you to add an app to your google chrome - this is normal and please do it
- It will stop recording audio if your face isn't on the screen
- you can upload images and text (you might need canva.com)
- you can set your own background image, which might be a good place for your logo
There are a couple of things to be aware of before you go live
Please note: We are awaiting guidance from the national church to update this section.
Prayer is not our only response, but it should be our FIRST response.
Easily accessible resources to use in your church communications
- Coronavirus graphics [Sunday Social] - link
- Updates and cancellations graphics [Pixel Preacher] - link
- Coronavirus photos [Unsplash] - link
- Viral kindness neighbourhood print-out [PDF download] - link
- Love our street print-out [PDF download] - link
- Viral kindness postcard [print at home or professionally print | PDF] - link
Canva free link
Easy to use graphic design templates, pre-made sizes for social media platforms
Facebook Groups and Resource for Church Comms
Places to go for support and advice from experienced Church Comms teams.
- Church Tech UK - [Facebook] link
- The Church Comms Collective UK [Facebook] - link
- CMG / Visual Church Media [Facebook] - link
- US-based, lots of feeds about live streaming and tech setup for churches
- Coronavirus Tech Handbook [directory] - link
- Leveraging Facebook for Online Church During COVID-19 from Nona Jones (Head of Global Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook) [Facebook Post] - link
- The Diocese of Winchester Communications Group link
Some of you will want to use WhatsApp to communicate. Having spoken to the national communications team we recommend not using WhatsApp as personal contact information (phone numbers) can be passed on which is against GDPR.
A number of groups are hosting webinars in the coming days to help and support churches and ministries
- Tuesday 17th March
- 11am GMT Children & Youth in London (via Facebook and Zoom)Host: Diocese of London Children & Youth
- 2pm GMT Church Communications and the Coronavirus (via Zoom)Host: Mark Crosby (Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland)
- Wednesday 18th March
Spotify and YouTube playlists
Create worship playlists so that those who rely on sung congregational worship are able to engage in a similar way. Discuss this with your worship leader and use your social media channels to share playlists with your church.
The aim here is to equip people with songs to listen to and sing along to, that help them in their worship and could play a useful part in their rhythm of worship.