The Revd Jane Proudfoot, Incumbent at Grappenhall, has recently taken to YouTube to share sermons and children’s worship with the local community.
So, she was surprised to receive an email from someone 10,464 miles away in New South Wales, Australia, thanking her for her new style of ministry and the “joy” it was bringing to him and his Mum.
The Revd Jane Proudfoot says: “It was quite unexpected and heart-warming. I’ve had some good feedback from people locally, including a lovely little video of two children watching my children’s worship on the website and joining in, but I wasn’t expecting this.”
The email from the former Grappenhall residents explained that the videos were helping them to connect in a time of isolation: “In the face of social distancing, it is so uplifting to think that from 10,464 miles away, you can feel very connected to a special place.”
The email continued: “It brought me so much joy…to know that for my Mum, who is now facing a period of prolonged isolation, she still had some way of connecting with you, which is so important for me. Personally, having gone to Sunday school at St Wilfrid's, been confirmed, married and buried my Dad there, it was so lovely to see you standing at the altar and to be able to connect to a place that has many memories for me.”
Jane on Mothering Sunday
Jane continues to offer videos via her YouTube channel, though no longer from inside the church building due to new guidance restricting clergy from doing so. Instead, Jane is sharing worship and praise from her living room armchair.
She is one of a number of clergy members who have turned their hand to live-streaming and video recording as a way of connecting people with the church.
Jane is uploading a video a day to the parish website: http://stwilfridschurch.org.uk
Jane is now broadcasting from her armchair rather than the church, in line with the latest guidance.
The archbishops have written again to all clergy in the Church of England to reiterate their advice to stay at home and follow government advice.
Echoing government communications, they say the Church must lead by example and, "stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."
The archbishops say: "We want to reiterate the advice we have already sent. The government is asking us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We call upon all our churches and church leaders, clergy and lay, to follow this advice.”
They acknowledge that not being able to use our church buildings is, "of course, a huge loss to us all", but that streaming worship from home will show to others that the Church is, "facing up to the same restrictions... and we can take a lead in encouraging people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Moreover, to pray from and in the home may help us to show that the church is, as we all know, us, the people of God, not our buildings."