During the Covid-19/Coronavirus crisis, the Church of England has suspended face-to-face worship. However, that does not mean the end to Sunday services in Brancepeth. We are using Zoom video conferencing to gather for Sunday worship online (10.15) am. We also provide morning prayer (8.15 am) and a midday Eucharist every weekday, and evening prayer on Thursdays at 7.30 pm.

All you need is access to a computer, tablet or smart phone with an Internet connection. For those people using a table or a mobile phone, the Zoom app can be downloaded from your app store. You will be asked to set up an account when you first open the app, and that’s it. For people using a computer, please go to zoom.us and sign up, free, for a basic account. You will then be given the chance to download the application onto your computer.

The Zoom app allows us to invite you all to join a meeting scheduled at a specific time. When you join that meeting you will be able to see other people who have joined in, hear all the service content, and see the priest leading the service. You will be able to join in with hymns and prayers, and chat to other members of the congregation before and after the service.

We need to send a specific invite to everyone who wants to join us for each service. If you want to join us for worship in this way,  you therefore need to email Hester Higton with to let her know that you want to join in.

Before each service, you will then receive an email from us providing a link to a Zoom meeting. All you need to do is to click on the link in the email, and the app should open automatically.

Audio and video

As you join, you will be asked whether you want to allow video, and whether you want to allow audio. If you are using a tablet or a phone you will be asked whether you want to join audio via the Internet or dial-up. You need to choose ‘Internet’ as there is a charge for the dial-up service.

We would prefer everyone to allow video – that is, to allow the camera on your phone, tablet or computer to transmit your picture to the group – so that we can all see each other’s faces. We will all still be able to concentrate on the person leading the service, or the person who is reading or leading the intercessions, but seeing everyone else too will help us to know that we are joining in a community event. If at any point you need to turn off your video, it is very easy to do so – and that won’t stop you participating in a service. And if you don’t have a camera on your phone or computer, that won’t stop you participating.

We would also prefer everyone to allow audio – that is, to allow the microphone on your phone, tablet or computer to transmit your voice to the group. Most of the time, we will mute everyone’s microphones automatically, so that we can all concentrate on the person leading the service. When we all join in with prayers, we will keep everyone muted so that we aren’t thrown into confusion by the time lags involved. But if you have enabled your audio, it means that you can say hello and goodbye when you join and leave, and we can speak with you if we need to.