Eventbrite Eucharist and alfresco mass: churches continue to innovate as lockdown eases


As lockdown continues to ease, churches across the country continue to innovate to keep their congregations as safe as possible:
A priest performs Communion outside with a visor on and people socially distanced

In Manchester, the Littleborough Benefice opened the largest of its three churches, Holy Trinity, inviting people to pre-book for a service, through Eventbrite.

Fr Ian Bullock explained: “Through the pre-booking system, we created an attendance list, which was used to allocate seating and will be kept securely for three weeks for Trace and Test purposes."

He continued: "We have a big check-list of tasks to adhere to each Sunday morning to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible." The new measures include numbering the pews, directing the flow of people around church by marking out routes with tape and creating signs such as two-metre floor tiles for communion to highlight the points for people to stand on.

For those unable to attend church, Littleborough also continues to increase its online worship, now with livestreamed Mass on Facebook and pre-recorded Sunday services on YouTube.

Meanwhile, in London, St Barnabas Ealing holds open-air midweek Mass on its front lawn, with risks being “more manageable” outdoors and enabling “as many people as possible to participate in the celebration” – according to its website.

The alfresco arrangement is alongside also continuing to develop its online worship, with plans currently underway to install live-streaming facilities for Sunday worship to take place both physically and virtually, in real-time. 

Fr Justin Dodd said: “The Church is finding new ways to worship. After our success with online services the response to open air mass has been fantastic.”