Developing on line church

Would you like to try streaming a service? 

We already have over 130 services being live streamed or available by conference call.  If technology is not your forte please do not pressure yourself to have a go, but instead log into some of the fantastic services already available.  For resources to help you prepare your own live streamed services:

The Church of England team are offering a selection of webinars for details please visit their page here.

If you would like to try your hand at telephone conferencing or video conferencing please read our guide which includes details on safeguarding and key security information. 

Zoom How to? guide | PDF

Sharing online Worship this summer

Thank you to all who are providing online worship during lockdown.  Your creativity, resourcefulness and sheer hard work are very much appreciated. 

To support you to continue to provide good quality local online worship during the holidays, the Lightwave Community have provided a simple place where churches can share their resources with each other.  Among other things, there will be a short sermon (so far mainly from the Dean, Bishops and Archdeacons), all-age bible-re-telling and a selection of Suffolk-recorded songs and prayers for the five Sundays in August and the first Sunday in September, any of which can be inserted into a service led by a local minister.   

Download resources | Weblink



If you would like to comment on what resources it would be useful or offer to share some resources your church has prepared, please fill in the survey at or email

Next steps

Many churches moving online have been blessed with a growing number of people engaging with their offerings. By their presence, these people are showing an interest in the church.  It is challenging to adapt our methods to the digital world, but some ideas and suggestions are emerging, all rooted in our usual relational approach.

  • Be welcoming - some churches are forming a group of people who can welcome online vistors and follow them up afterwards.
  • Be authentic -  many people are choosing to engage with their local churches, or churches where they have a connection, not the slickest online services.
  • Be encouraging - try asking people questions they can comment on during a video or post an online poll. Facebook offers an easy messaging service asking new visitors to like and follow your page and make sure you answer comments! One church asked families to build an Easter garden to show at the service the following Sunday.
  • Be invitational: a common message is how much easier it is to invite to an online service or event. Ask people to invite others. This is a great way to deepen engagement.

People are experimenting with many things - could you try any of these ideas?

  • Informal Zoom gatherings where people can chat immediately after a service.
  • Pub quizzes by Zoom.
  • Weekly music or nursery rhyme sessions for young families.
  • Online Christian basics courses, e.g. Alpha, Christianity Explored, Start.
  • Shorter, simpler and more regular spiritual offerings to complement the services.
  • Online bible study sessions.
  • Zoom get-togethers for young people, e.g. Pizza and Prayer online for young people in South Hartismere.

Understanding your analytics 

Facebook says that 1000 people have seen my video…or have they? Do check the ‘Insights’ on social media platforms.  They will let you know how long people have viewed your video for, whether they have the sound on!  Find out where they are located, demographics breakdown and when is the best time to post your information to reach the most people.  Look at engagement figures as well as just reach or impressions as these tell you more about whether people are staying long enough to like and comment on posts, share information and properly engage in your post.

Online Promotion

An easy way to reach new audiences is to ‘boost’ your posts.  Choosing simple metrics such as geographic area, key words and demographics you could reach an entirely new audience – just set your budget and stick to it – this is low cost so a couple of pounds a post could be effective.

Remember to advertise your online services and other activities on A Church Near You

For a Social Media basic guide download this guie:

How to? on Social Media | PDF

Counting online attendance

We recognise that collecting information on virtual church offerings may not be a priority for some. However, for those who are keen, the Church of England has produced a simple excel spreadsheet which enables churches to keep a record of the different things they may offer here 


Updated 22 July 2020.