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: 30 March 2020


Chaplaincies are "Going Digital" in different ways and are using the resources they have –  and those that others across the Diocese and the wider Church – are putting in place. This week, we look at two more chaplaincies.  At St Thomas Anglican Church, Kefalas on the island of Crete, Fr. Bruce Bryant-Scott tells us about his blogging, and puppet shows.  At Holy Trinity, Brussels, meanwhile, interactive Godly Play has taken off across the Diocese on Zoom ...


St Thomas Anglican Church, Kefalas, Crete:  Blogging, Puppets and Prayers

The small congregation at St Thomas, Kefalas, on the island of Crete, is largely English UK citizens living in the rural municipality of Apokoronas, adjacent to the city of Chania.  Their "Island Parson" is Fr. Bruce Bryant-Scott.

Fr. Bruce tells us:

“Most of the attendees are retired, although some work in the tourist industry. We are keeping in touch by telephone, email, Facebook our website, and posting on my blog."

Fr Bruce wrote recently in his blog about "Family and Home in a time of Pandemic":

“Home is the place of the Church, no less than the church buildings. Walk into any Greek home and almost invariably there are icons, and people will reverence them. While we may be in church for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, most of us spend a third or more of our time in our houses or flats. If our faith means anything to us, then the home is also a place of prayer, of meditation, of study of the scriptures, of learning, and of action. we remain the church even when we are home and dispersed.

Home is, ideally, a place of care and retreat. We have been told by the Greek government Μένουμε σπίτι, σωζουμε ζωες – “We stay home, we save lives”. As we stay home now, let us be that church that cares for others by, ironically, not interacting with others in person.

Let us be the church that enters into a desert of isolation, not as a deprivation, but as a moment in time to focus on the blessings of food and shelter. Slow down and enjoy what you are eating. Read a poem, perhaps one by George Herbert. Crack open that old, dusty copy of the Bible and read it for yourself. Go to YouTube and watch a video of someone chanting prayers, or a choir singing a beloved hymn. If you are in quarantine with someone else, ask them how they are doing, and invite them into a discussion of the important things in life. Take time to pray. “

St Thomas is a chaplaincy that is not, so far, "going digital" by live streaming services:

“We’re instead directing people to the websites of larger church operations, such as St Alban's Copenhagen, and the Archbishop of Canterbury's pre-recorded service,”  says Fr. Bruce.

Fr. Bruce does have another tool up his sleeve: puppet shows on YouTube, as he explains …

“Despite almost never having children at our regular Sunday services, I usually do a short introduction to the Sunday readings using puppets, which the people invariably remember better than any sermon.

So, with the assistance of Frances Bryant-Scott, I have made very short YouTube videos of the Animals of the Forest - Athanasius the Alpaca, Mla the Raven, and Wolfgang the Wolf, among others.”     

In terms of keeping in touch across chaplaincies in these times, it's another case of how Zoom is burgeoning in popularity across the Diocese, and how tech helps us to manage such vast distances. Fr Bruce tells us the Anglican clergy in Greece are meeting via Zoom for Morning Prayer and conversation on Tuesdays.    

You can find out more about St Thomas, Kefalas on the chaplaincy website, Facebook page and Fr. Bruce's blog.



Photos:  Fr Bruce Bryant-Scott; St Thomas Anglican Church, Kefalas 


Godly Play over Zoom organised by Holy Trinity, Brussels:  Are you ready?

Jeremy Huslein and Natalie Jones tell us about Zooming in on Noah's Ark ...

“Are you ready?” It is the question that the Doorperson asks each child before they go into the Godly Play space.

It is a moment to pause, to reflect, to get ready to hear from God -- to hear the stories about God told as sacred stories (the moments God came very close), as parables (which inspire us to wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven and about the one who told the parables), as actions that the Church does (reminding us that God is not done and continues to work today through the community of faith), and as silence (where we ourselves can draw close to the mystery and the love of God). “Are you ready?” is a question asked at the threshold, guiding children and others across into a space and time set apart. Sacred.

When Natalie Jones, the Children and Youth Worker at Holy Trinity Brussels, asked the question over Zoom on Sunday, 22 March, the purpose of the question was the same. Are you ready to hear from God, no matter where you’re gathering, no matter if you’re in this room together or not? The threshold became metaphorical or symbolic, which in some ways it always is. And for the nearly 30 children, ranging from ages three to ten and from Belgium to Cyprus, the story was begun.

Natalie told the story of God coming close to Noah and being with Noah and all the animals in the Ark, as it rained and as they waited until it was safe to come out again. Afterwards, the children shared together through four “wondering questions.”

  • I wonder what part of the story you liked the best? (We received a lot of, “The rainbow!”)
  • I wonder what part of the story you thought was the most important? (There was a bit more diversity of answers on this question, including, “That God told Noah to go inside the Ark.”)
  • I wonder if any part of the story is about you or if you find yourself in any part of the story? (Some grumbled chorus of “having to be inside too,” as well as other thoughts.)
  • I wonder if there is any part of the story we can leave out and still have all the story we need? (Some thinking and considering here, with some suggestions of leaving out the snakes or the crocodiles from the Ark.)

After wondering together, the Zoom call was ended as children went into the “response time” in their own homes, playing with and responding to the story in their own ways. We received photos of rainbows coloured in, toy animals rescued by makeshift rafts, and other creative things that children did.

We encouraged the families who gathered to remember to have a feast together (we suggested lunch), because as Godly Play often reminds us at the feast time we have every week: a feast is a feast not because of what or how much we have but who we are with.



Photo:  Godly Play Resources




Church of England Digital Resources:

Resources and content from the national Church publicised over the past week include:



In addition, there are more resources coming next week - with as much as possible available in simple downloadable and printable formats for those who cannot easily access the technology:

  • More video content – this will include video services and more films for Holy Week and Easter. In addition, Holy Week audio content will be made available.
  • A series of new reflections from Easter Day onwards – work is underway on an updated app, audio and email resources.


Zoom training

Zoom has become hugely popular as a teleconferencing and webinar solution.  We know many of you across the Diocese are using it.

Would you like to know more about running a Zoom meeting, Zoom chat, or things like changing your profile pic or using the waiting room facility for your meetings ...?

Sign up for Zoom training webinars at the link