Due to temporary closure of its historic building during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, Methodist Central Hall Westminster (MCHW) has taken to live streaming their Sunday Morning Service, as a positive way to engage with their congregation and beyond. As the church’s in-house production service partner, White Light (WL) has adapted its pioneering SmartStage technology to provide a remote solution, enabling the congregation to still join safely for their service on Sunday 29th March.
This immersive production environment will enable MCHW’s ministerial staff team to address a global congregation directly from the SmartStage, located in a sterilised space at WL’s Wimbledon headquarters. No physical contact will be required, as participants in the service, (the readers and the preacher) will be able to participate from the safety of their homes, using the Zoom video conferencing service. This is the first time ever in the UK that a dedicated broadcast facility will be streaming a live church service and utilising SmartStage technology to achieve this.
WL’s Technical Solutions Director, Andy Hook comments: “Increasingly, our SmartStage is enabling and extending the reach for many organisations who are having to find new ways to communicate with their target audience. The system allows participants to see and interact with content surrounding them, as well as each other, which adds an experiential layer that has not been achievable with previous technologies. We are delighted that SmartStage could be adapted for this purpose, as it will help bring a sense of community spirit to those who need it.”
Revd Tony Miles adds: “Our first virtual service was streamed from our Chapel, to our YouTube channel and website on Mothering Sunday and over a thousand people watched the live broadcast! As our building has now had to close temporarily, we are thankful to our friends at WL for helping us deliver such a technologically advanced solution going forward. TheSmartStage backdrop will feature imagery familiar to the MCHW congregation, and other familiar touchpoints to enhance the virtual reality experience. From the SmartStage environment, everyone will clearly be able to see me, as well as camera views of our ministry team. I will also see the faces of others as they take part in the service, so we will all benefit from a sense of connection and interaction. At a time when many are feeling isolated, uncertain, and even fearful, it’s wonderful that we can continue to worship and provide some comfort and hope, using this incredible technology.”
Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, the Superintendent Minister at MCHW will preach from his home, via Zoom on the theme of ‘Sharing his sufferings’. The Revd Tony Miles will host the service from WL’s studio and Deacon Ali McMillan and members of the church will also be participating remotely.
Methodist Central Hall Westminster’s Morning Service on Sunday 29th March will be streamed at 11am (BST!) via their dedicated channel youtube.com/mchwevents and their web site: Methodist-Central-Hall.Org.Uk
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