Telephone dial-in services show churches more open than ever
Telephone dial-in services are a great example of churches thinking laterally and striving to make themselves as open as possible while the doors remain closed during the Covid-19 crisis. As Archbishop Justin Welby said, “The current crisis is by no means an opportunity, but the church has responded in an incredibly positive way.” Speaking to Premier Christian News, he said, “… The church is by no means closed. It is more open than it has been in decades, it’s vigorous, buzzing and engaged… caring for people in so many ways.”
“The church is by no means closed. It is more open than it has been in decades, it’s vigorous, buzzing and engaged… caring for people in so many ways,” Archbishop Justin Welby
More people attending online than previously in person
One of the ways churches have opened themselves up is by online streaming and the response has been amazing. Many churches are reporting that far more people are ‘showing up’ to services from their homes than ever showed up in person. Which is wonderful. But what if you just don’t do online? What if Facebook, streamed services or watch parties are concepts that you would very much rather leave to others and would much prefer instead to pick up the phone?
Telephone dial-in is great when online isn’t an option
The Office for National Statistics says that over 2.5 million people aged 75 and above have never used the internet. For those of us living and worshipping in Cornwall this is no surprise and as a diocese we have tried to ensure that no one is forgotten or left behind.
Happily, churches like All Saints Highertown and those in the Atlantic Cluster have responded by offering dial-in services. Since the beginning of the lockdown, All Saints have been making it possible to dial in to a service or prayer time, at any time and on any day of the week. ”It’s been working really well and, so far, has been called over 250 times,” says Revd Jeremy Putman. “There is a recording of me saying the Morning Prayer, every day from Monday to Friday, from 8am. At the weekends, you can hear the sermon for the week. We have people calling it every day, and at all sorts of times, which is wonderful. People have told us it has been a lifeline and has become part of people’s established routine in lockdown.” The telephone number is: 01872 306996.
It’s been working really well and, so far, has been called over 250 times, says Revd Jeremy Putman
Likewise, the Atlantic Cluster have made a telephone dial-in service available. Lay Worship Leader Charlotte Irwin says their Sunday services have 40-50 people online and 12-15 people dialling in. “One lady said she sits in her conservatory with a cup of coffee and thoroughly enjoys it, looking forward to listening in each week.” Charlotte says the service is a great example of churches learning from each other and adapting to meet the needs of all of their congregations. The telephone number for the Atlantic Cluster dial-in is: 01872 308750.
Daily Hope telephone dial-in from the Church of England
The Archbishop Justin Welby, has also launched a 24-hour free dial-in service called Daily Hope. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections as well as full services from the Church of England. Daily Hope also offers advice on COVID-19.
Further details of the service can be found on our website, under the Covid 19 Resources
With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are.
As the Archbishop says, “With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are. The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season.”The telephone number for Daily Hope is: 0800 804 8044
Please reach out to those who won’t be reading this online
If you are reading this and know someone who isn’t but who would really benefit from using any of the dial in services, please pass this information on to them. As it has been said, the world we see that we are one (John 17:23), but to be as one we have to take care of each other and ensure that no one is forgotten or left behind.
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23