Strood church wins grant to help them go digital due to COVID-19

St Francis Church in Strood has received funding from the AllChurches Trust to enable church services and events to be livestreamed directly from the building.

Like many churches, since March 2020, and in line with national lockdown restrictions, St Francis Church has stayed open each week via zoom, broadcasting from people’s homes.

Now, thanks to the AllChurches Trust funding, St Francis can improve their technological capacity to allow them to broadcast directly from the church building.

The £3,000 grant has enabled a new broadband connection to be installed in the church, along with equipment to make smooth and professional streaming possible.

Rev Sharon Copestake, Vicar of St Francis, said:

"This money will make such a difference as we continue to follow national guidelines around continuing restriction, allowing us for the first time to make coming to church in your own home as close to being gathered in the building as is possible."

The technology means that those who are unable to join in person will be able to stay part of the community. It also means that those wondering about whether the church or the Christian faith might be helpful can explore that idea from the comfort of their own home.

Since March, Church of England churches across the country have added more than 17,000 online services or events to alone. A Church Near You, is a website run by the Church of England to help people connect with their local church by allowing them to search via their location or postcode.

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK's largest grant-making charities and gave more than £16 million to churches, charities and communities in 2018. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

St Francis Church in Strood advertises their services and events via their Facebook page (St Francis Church Strood), and warmly invite everyone to join in however they are able.

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