Streams in the desert: Church of England becomes unlikely convert to Periscope in bid to attract shy worshippers
The Church of England is urging vicars to broadcast their Sunday services live on the internet because some people find it too “scary” to attend in person.
Official advice from the CofE’s Church House headquarters in London encourages parishes to take advantage of new technology making it possible to broadcast through a mobile phone as a new way of “spreading the word”.
It recommends trying out new streaming services as a means of catering for those unable to attend because of ill health or travelling abroad as well as to reach those who might be curious but wary of publicly joining in services.
The advice, written by Tallie Proud, the Church’s digital media officer, provides basic tips on everything from taking a steady shot to remembering to keep their mobile phone battery charged while streaming.
In tones far removed from some of the church’s more formal central pronouncements of the past, it describes Periscope, the new streaming service owned by Twitter, as “the app that everyone is talking about at the moment”.
“Broadcasting services online have many benefits,” she adds.
“It could be someone too ill to attend, a family who want to ‘attend’ even when on holiday or someone who just wants to know what the church is like before they make the sometimes scary step of walking into the building for the first time.”
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