Drive-in worship and pew booking: how churches are adapting as lockdown eases


Since the government announced that public worship in churches could restart after more than three months of lockdown, churches have been taking innovative steps to help keep their congregations as safe as possible:
Outdoor service

All Saints Church in Crowborough recently welcomed more than 200 church goers (in 60 cars) to its first-ever outdoor drive-in church service – in a nearby field with views over the Sussex countryside. Vicar of All Saints, Revd Steve Rees said: “The current pandemic has seen us discovering more and more new ways to share God’s word, support each other and worship.”

St Barnabas Church in Swanmore also held a drive-in service for the first time, with worshippers driving their cars into the village hall car park and winding down the windows to join the Songs-of-Praise style service. 

Meanwhile, St George's Church in Waterlooville welcomes pre-booked worshippers by ticking off their names at the door (for track and trace purposes) before directing to the hand sanitiser and a pew where they could sit at least two metres away from others. 

Norma Kershaw, who has been part of the congregation for five years, said: "It has replenished my soul to be here today. It has made me feel so much better. I did just sit there and weep.”

In front of the altar at St George’s, a web cam and laptop were prominent, as the service was also being live streamed to others watching at home. 

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