Hymns beamed into car radios at cinema-style church service


Churches continue to test drive new ideas for socially distanced services during the pandemic.
Cars are told to tune their radios to a FM frequency on a big cinema screen

An example from earlier this month is perfectly illustrated by a group of churches in Norwich coming together to deliver a remarkable drive-in outdoor cinema-style service, held at the Norfolk Showground.

The service was a celebration of local churches and communities. It included hymns and songs broadcast directly into car radios (with words on-screen) as well as video clips shown from across the diocese. Even those without FM signal car radio receivers were still able to tune by bringing along a portable radio.

Ian Bentley, Archdeacon of Lyyn, reads from a book with a microphone and a screen behind him

Cars not only provided perfect social distancing but they were also parked two metres away from the next car to allow plenty of space for people to leave their vehicle to use the on-site facilities – which included an ‘eating market’ of eight street food traders on-site, serving throughout the service.

The Very Revd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, said: “We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to organise a drive-in service for the diocese at the Norfolk Showground. Without being able to come together in our usual ways, particularly for large diocesan services in the Cathedral, it was wonderful for people from all over the diocese to meet at the showground and enjoy singing favourite hymns, to watch video clips and to hear from Bishop Graham, but all from the safety of their cars."