A step-by-step guide to online and onsite services

Step-by-step guide Hompage image
This resource combines missional and digital wisdom from the Church of England to inspire and inform churches planning for the post-covid online world. There are many helpful resources in the digital universe but here is an overview, a one-stop shop, to help you see the wood for the trees.

There is also one-click access to great guides to the tech and social media and to excellent examples of online worship and mission.

“Our churches have risen to the challenges of the pandemic magnificently, in social action, pastoral care, and worship offered online as well as onsite. This resource combines missional and digital wisdom from the Church of England to inspire and inform churches planning for the post-covid online world. There are many helpful resources in the digital universe but here is an overview, a one-stop shop, to help you see the wood for the trees, and I commend it most warmly.”

The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

A reflection

Riding the pandemic rollercoaster has been tedious, trying, traumatic and tragic. We emerge debilitated as after a war. Many individuals are physically or emotionally exhausted. Many church communities are badly bruised. Ten years of social change have been compressed into one. Some worry about what state our churches will find themselves in when freedom returns.

Yet the Bible describes God as Redeemer. God takes what is bad and brings good out of it. Jesus’ resurrection did not obliterate the horrors of Good Friday. But the day of suffering became the key to a better world and a greater kingdom.

The signs are that God the Redeemer is hard at work today in the life of the Church and in the world. The steps we have been able to take out of lockdown, and the success of the vaccine programme, creates a time of relief but also of opportunity. All that we have been through, all that we have learnt and all the ways we have been changed hold the power to recharge Jesus’ mission to the world and his Church’s place in it.

The Church has already been strengthened by many new online worshippers. Some have been energised by the online mission opportunity. The bruised Church has been prepared for future mission by mastering the means to share Good News with a newly needy nation inside the homes and private spaces of its people. For the first time in history, most churches can deploy onsite and online church in harness together, powering our timeless mission to feed the faith and stir the worship of all the people. This is a new and potential-filled manifestation of what the Church of England talks about in its vision for the 2020’s, a church where mixed ecology is the norm.  

And so we pray.

Lord give us the strength and resolve we need to meet the challenge and seize the moment you have given to us.

Browse each of the chapters below, or search for content that is relevant to you using the text box.

  1. Church with cross against blue sky

    Online church and the wider world

    Before COVID-19 very few churches had an online presence. But immediately our buildings were closed-down, huge numbers of churches learnt how to offer online services.

  2. Busy crowd on a street

    Online mission and evangelism

    Online contact provides a novel context for the ancient mission of the Church, to make and grow new disciples.

  3. Man filming a conversation with a camera and monitor

    Online strategy

    Online strategy can be part of an overall plan, not another isolated bright idea.

  4. Family sitting on sofa watching laptop

    Is online church really church?

    One key question that churches running services online will want to think through is whether online worship really is ‘church’.

  5. Woman walking down the road with phone and coffee cup in hand

    Digital communications

    In the UK, 95% of the population are internet users, creating an opportunity for churches to keep in touch with their community and reach out into their neighbourhood.

  6. Step by step guide thumbnails

    Planning creative and engaging services online

    It’s important to recognise that each church community will take a different approach, and there is no one way that is correct.

  7. Zoom meeting on laptop

    Technology and software

    Every church will approach onsite and online services differently. Budget, technical ability and practical elements such as broadband availability will all impact what is feasible for you.

  8. Laptop and notepad on desk

    Being part of a learning organisation

    No church or individual should struggle alone trying to master mixed ecology church.

  9. Step by step guide thumbnails

    Examples of good practice

    Sample services we think are examples of good practice that might inspire and stimulate you.

  10. The Church of England logo.

    Links and resources

    Helpful links and resources to get you started with online and onsite church services.