A CHURCH is embracing technology to boost its digital outreach after live-streamed services proved popular during lockdown.

Since March, many churches have found new ways of reaching their communities, often with limited resources and technology.

A grant of £2,950 from Allchurches Trust means St Paul’s Church, in Spennymoor, can invest in new technology to improve its audio and visual content.

With the pandemic still affecting people’s lives and more people joining services online, the church has accelerated its digital plans as it adapts for the future.

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

The 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 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 the church share the Christmas story online.

The church’s 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 installing screens, reducing reliance on books and other paper-based materials, as well as a launching new church website.

Fundraising will continue to help the church realise their long-term digital plans.

Hope Beyond grants go to projects tackling Covid-related issues and has been awarded by Allchurches Trust, one of the UK's largest grant-making charities funded by its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

St Paul's Church live-streams a service every Sunday at 10.30am via Facebook.com/stpaulsspennymoor/videos and is on Twitter @stpaulsspenny and Instagram @stpaulsspennymoor.