On the 24th March 2020, the Church of England, in response to UK government advice, issued the following statement ‘All churches are to close with immediate effect’, other UK churches did likewise, though many had already made that decision. To many this moment signified a major shift in church attendance, the ability to gather together in a physical location had been the lifeblood of the church since the Day of Pentecost!
This moment was not an end to life as we knew it, in fact it was the beginning of life we have come to know. This was the beginning of the Hybrid Church.
It has been wonderful that many people normally unable to attend in-person church services and activities due to health issues, disability or lack of accessibility measures, have found that the emergence of online church allowed them access and equality with those who had always taken this access for granted. The new hybrid church has gathered people in connection across borders, cultures and traditions.
In a recent interview, one pastor explained how their Alpha group has seen a significant rise in numbers, saying:
“people who had previously been reluctant to come into a church building in previous years, now felt the safety of online anonymity, showing up but with cameras off, though slowly all the cameras came on’ he went on to say that ‘seeing the effectiveness of this shift makes me want to do online as well as in person simultaneously’ Darren McWilliams, Pastor, Lisburn City Elim
The question was asked, how can we all give together, in the same moment, wherever we are, to maintain that sense of intentional and communal giving?
The answer is Givt, with its unique sense of togetherness and belief that giving is fundamentally different to paying, allowing everyone, at home or in a physical service, to join together in that intentional moment of giving. In just a short time our 5000 plus users at Givt have donated over £1 million, which has benefited many communities and projects. We would like to invite you to come together and join our rapidly growing community of givers.
“As social distancing regulations are relaxed it is vital that as we reopen the building doors of the church that we do not shut the digital doors! The future of the Church is hybrid, combining the best of what our buildings and traditions allow with the best of digital opportunities.” Premier Christianity