Coronavirus: Going Digital


On this page, you will find:

  • Stories from chaplaincies in the Diocese on virtual worship and engagement
  • Advice and resources on digital support


Latest update: 22 March 2020


The Diocese goes Digital

We reported on 4 March that friends at the Anglican Church of the Holy Ghost, Genoa pioneered a Virtual Eucharist on Facebook. 

As the impact of Coronavirus has deepened, our chaplaincies across the Diocese have been unable to come together physically for worship. Three chaplaincies have generously shared their experiences and engagement with their congregations so far looking back over the past week, from Lille, Prague and Lisbon.  We asked them to tell us about their local context, what they have been doing so far, and about their experiences.  

We see amazing effort across chaplaincies in the Diocese to organise worship and engagement in these challenging times, and will post links to your videos and content on this page. We look forward to hearing and sharing your local stories.


Christ Church, Lille

Rosemary Ulyett tells us:

“The church and hall are closed for now. We have also, sadly, had to cancel our 150th anniversary celebrations in May. We hope to reschedule, of course, but don’t know when. We are trying to reach out to our congregation, who are confined to home except for essential shopping or short exercise around the block, to see if anyone is in difficulty. Difficulties are compounded because the local Post Offices are shut, and some of our more vulnerable members do not have internet access. Disabled members are particularly at risk.”

She adds:

“The link to last Sunday's Morning Prayer service was only sent out at the last moment, there was so much going on (three newsletters in three days!) but this particular newsletter reached 60% of subscribers, nearly 8% of whom opened the link to the service. The newsletter with the personal message from the Revd Debbie was also read widely and occasioned many encouraging messages in reply, including from several non church-goers who are nevertheless supporters.

There is now a page with links to weekly services, prayers, a video and CofE links etc. This page, website and prayer page will be updated regularly.  This can be accessed at

In addition, an "Open House" chat session (via Zoom) and a Facebook Live session have been planned. Christ Church are also in touch with and working with ecumenical colleagues.  Church bells have rung in Lille to call everyone to share in a prayer time.  Friends at Christ Church are particularly concerned at the moment about reaching out to members of the congregation who do not have internet access. This work is ongoing.



St Clement’s Anglican and Episcopal Church, Prague

The Revd Nathanial Nathanial writes:

“Czech Republic has banned gatherings of above 30 people. Now a national quarantine has been declared prohibiting free movement of people except for work/grocery/pharmacy. A lot of people who attend our services regularly in the Czech Republic as well as our friends who at some point of time worshipped with us were in my contact to see how we would be proceeding holding the worship service which is a big support for people in such troubling times.”

Demonstrating how difficult physical movement is at present in the country, Revd Nathanial told us:

“Our Reader was supposed to be preaching but as he lives away from Prague he took a prudent decision not to travel here as the public transport system, and taxi services were banned soon after. His sermon focused on 'Jesus the true savior of the world' from the Gospel Reading John 4. 5-42 and was read by one the churchwardens.”

St Clement’s organised and recorded a virtual Eucharist, uploaded on Youtube accessible via  The service liturgy is available for download/printing just below the video.  The Revd Nathanial shared the video on Facebook and Twitter, and the links via his Weekly Message to Church members & friends.

He added:

“Canon Tony's DIY Eucharist [in Genoa] was of great help in planning this service. Our technical wizard David Hellam did a great job of recording and uploading this video given we had very short time to do so.”

On the experience of not meeting physically, Revd Nathanial said “it is quite challenging 'fellowship' and this relatively new approach from our side needed a lot of prayers to be reaching the hearts and minds of our people during this time.”



Anglican Church of St George and St Paul, Lisbon

The Revd Ian Eglin is the Locum chaplain at the Chaplaincy covering St George’s Lisbon and St Paul's Estoril. 


He writes:

“The Portuguese Roman Catholic churches all shutdown on 13 March, and on advice of Bishop David we were advised to do the same. This meant we had just over 24 hours to prepare to do something. We decided using the church Facebook page to live stream the service. In church there was myself my wife and one churchwarden. My wife Caroline did the technology which was a huge fast learning curve on Saturday using some of her friends and contacts who knew what to do.”

The Revd Ian conducted a service of the ministry of the word but not a Eucharist.  His already prepared was on the gospel of the day the Samaritan woman at the well.  There was also some music played for people to reflect on.  Ian said he thought 45 or so people watched the service (at the link below) live.  Since then, there have been over 800 views on Facebook.

Ian has now returned to Devon, but it is expected to remain as Locum priest.  He tells us he will continue to live stream services using the Chaplaincy Facebook page from home in Devon.  The chaplaincy has also been using a Lent course by Dr Clare Amos for a group at the church, and it is their intention to continue this by live streaming.



Christ Church, Lille; St Clement's Anglican & Episcopal Church, Prague; St George's, Lisbon.


Digital support



Church of England Digital Communications have put together step-by-step guidance, hints and tips on live video and streaming that you can use to run e-services.   

More resources will be posted here as they becomes available.

This resource covers YouTube video, Facebook Live and Instagram Live:

Church of England Digital Communications team are now offering a series of webinars - sign up is via the link below.

These include:

-5 Ways to Keep your Church Connected 
-How to Use A Church Near You During Social Distancing
-Livestream Q&A session

Please note:

Church of England guidance at the above links notes potential copyright issues around music.  Legal advice to the Diocese is that careful choice of music may be important to reduce the risk of copyright issues in relation to hymns/worship songs held by other bodies.  We continue to investigate this matter, as are other Dioceses in the Church of England.

The copyright in Common Worship and other authorised Church of England liturgical material is held by the Archbishops’ Council. A guide to liturgical copyright is available here