In June/July 2020 we prepared our Risk Assessment, signage, gels etc and chairs and opened for individual prayer, and then simple services, each a couple of weeks after we were allowed.  The chairs in the sanctuary are widely spaced in pairs or groups of 3/4s, to accommodate bubbles, and all measured at 2m or more, to welcome 29 individuals or bubbles. (+ extra pairs behind communion table for speakers & Elders etc).  Two large clear screens ‘protect’ the congregation from the main lectern and communion table, which incorporates 2 further small lecterns, for each reader.  Services are usually less than 30 mins.


We started with one older laptop (built-in camera /mic) on the main lectern connected by Wi-Fi to Zoom OUT (video conferencing application).  To get the Zoomers IN, we hooked up to a projector and the church amplifier.


That one computer now gives a side view, and two more, old laptops give medium and longer range, but muted, views.  The Wi-Fi copes well with three camera signals and these older laptops cope very well with Zoom, becoming challenged only when we host and use PowerPoint together.


Myself or my wife are now able to host, either from the sanctuary or from home, incorporating hymns from YouTube and ‘spotlighting’ readers or preachers just like a TV director.  The system is simple to start up yet easily expandable; the Zoom app is doing the video and audio mixing and is worth every penny.  In church, the lectern laptop is running its own camera and the projector, and picks up the main organ sound (volume is turned up some).  Its speaker output also goes to the sanctuary amplifier so the church is filled with sound and vision from readers & preachers Zooming in.  The muted computer at the rear running the long view camera is often used to host the session.


Finally, we researched music licenses for “re-broadcasting” YouTube and were ‘advised’ (by the licensing companies!) that we would require an extra Streaming License (also from CCLI) and the Limited Online Music License from PRS Music.  Zoom is free for 2 stations for 40 mins, so we paid the annual fee of £143 to host 100 stations & no time limits.  Our Rootsontheweb membership (for worship resources) covers us for services BUT when reproduced (print, Zoom, FaceBook, Twitter, etc) must be acknowledged.  We also print n post out services and ‘dear friends’ letters every Tuesday to all those unable to Zoom (another new verb!).

Bernie Stevens ©CH URC

Prayers from Rootsontheweb©

CCLI, Streaming License & LOML

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