The ‘WhatsApp Church’ bringing services to people’s phones


Weekly services, daily reflections, and worship songs are being shared on an easily-accessible ‘WhatsApp Church,’ by a Church of England priest.
Helen Shannon shown in her clerical collar

Up to nine videos are posted on Sundays by church@five on the Strawberry Vale and Grange Estates in East Finchley, in what is thought to be the first-of-its-kind in Britain. 

Around 35 people are on the group – with added engagement on Facebook. There they receive both the service, and a daily ‘thought for the day’

Revd Helen Shannon of church@five said the WhatsApp service could be used by people with limited phone data allowing them to download the services while using free WiFi provided outside a local community centre and supermarkets.

“Some people watch all the videos in one go while others watch in small parts according to how much time they have and their home circumstances,” she said. 

“We remind people every Wednesday that the services are still there and that they can still watch.”

The church has set up a food bank since the first lockdown, run at St Barnabas Church in Finchley. It has also made food deliveries over the summer.  

Its next project is to deliver 650 ‘goodie bags’ on Easter Day with Easter cards to people in both estates. The cards will have a link encouraging people who have never been to church before to view church@five's Easter service.