Following the Coronavirus outbreak, many parishes have moved their services online. There are so many different tools to help people get online, but it can be difficult to know where to start. CAFOD volunteer Serga Collett, from St Laurence’s church in Cambridge, shares her top tips
1- Create a social media community
“Father is working hard to create a community – this is an interesting process and it’s amazing how quickly people have mobilised. Social media is always there. It is such an immediate way to contact people, which is so good.” CAFOD has its own Facebook community too!
2- Use existing channels to promote new things
“We now live-steam masses every day and post about them in our weekly newsletter and on Facebook to remind everyone.”
In Southwark Diocese a great example of the use of facebook to advertise Sunday Live Streamed mass is St James the Great in Petts Wood: https://www.facebook.com/Stjamespettswood/.
3- Set up a tech team of parish volunteers
“We have an amazing tech team. If anyone visits the church website and has a problem, the number for the tech team is on there and they can help. This is especially important for parishioners who aren’t used to everything being online.”
4 – Use online tools to set up meetings
“We have used meeting platforms such as Zoom to have an ‘Ablaze’ mass experience for our confirmation candidates.”
In another corner of the diocese Our Lady Queen of Peace in East Sheen streams live mass every day using Zoom. https://sites.google.com/site/ourladyqueenofpeacechurch/
5 – Even if you encounter difficulties, make sure to persevere
“In these times, computers are a real live-saver. Through technology, you can see how many people are out there, and while you can’t meet them face to face, you can still see them and speak to them.”
You can read Serga’s full blog here: https://blog.cafod.org.uk/2020/04/16/helping-your-congregation-get-online/. And, if you would like to share your story, do get in touch at email@example.com and we are here for you so do give us a call on 02033 49 1947.