Grant to help St Paul’s grow its digital outreach

Revd Matt Tarling at the lectern in front of camera

We are delighted to announce that St Paul’s Church has been awarded nearly £3,000 to help improve digital outreach after live-streamed services proved popular during lockdown.

As the country went into lockdown in March, and with limited resources and technology, churches, including ours, scrambled to find new ways of reaching their communities.

But a grant of £2,950 from Allchurches Trust means we can invest in new technology to improve our audio and visual content. With the pandemic still affecting people’s lives and more people joining services online, we are accelerating our digital plans as we adapt for the future.

To help make services more accessible for people in the building and those joining in worship online, the grant will go towards funding a new camera and streaming equipment which will be integrated into the church’s existing sound system.

Revd Matt Tarling, vicar of St Paul’s church said: “The pandemic has radically changed how we live our lives and will continue to do so for many months to come. Whilst this grant will enable us to improve our live-streamed services for those who are isolated and can’t get to church, it will also help us create a more inclusive and accessible community building for the future.”

With Christmas fast approaching and services expected to take a very different form this year, it is hoped that some of the new technology will be in place in time to help us share the good news of the Christmas story online.

Our digital plans for 2021 include making live-streamed Sunday services a permanent arrangement; recruiting and training volunteers to oversee the technical output; exploring the idea of monitors, reducing reliance on books and other paper-based materials, as well as a launching new church website. Fundraising will continue to help us realise our long-term digital plans.

The Hope Beyond grant funds projects tackling COVID related issues and has been awarded by Allchurches Trust, one of the UK's largest grant-making charities and gave £17.8 million to churches, charities and communities in 2019. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

We currently live-stream a service every Sunday at 10:30am and is available to watch via facebook.com/stpaulsspennymoor/videos. We can also be found on Twitter @stpaulsspenny and Instagram @stpaulsspennymoor.