DIGITAL church services during Easter Holy Week have seen a tenfold increase in numbers for a Barrhead parish.

St Andrew’s Parish Church began streaming its Sunday services just before Scotland went into lockdown in March but has since expanded to include Wednesday services over the Zoom app, as well as readings throughout Holy Week.

Church elder Sandy Farr told the Barrhead News there are usually between 20 and 30 people who attend Sunday services but, last week, around 200 logged on each night.

Some signed up for the online services from as far away as Canada, while another who plans to move to Barrhead has joined the congregation digitally from Stockport in the meantime.

Mr Farr said: “People are doing it because they’re missing coming along but others are reaching out at this time and feeling the need to connect. We started this before the coronavirus and felt the need to give our own flock, who could not get to church, the opportunity to share in the worship.

“We think it has worked.

“We are going to continue right through this crisis and, when it ends, we will still have the Sunday services to give to people.”

Regular short Wednesday services have transferred to the online app Zoom.

Churches of all sizes around the globe turned to digital services throughout the Easter season, including Pope Francis speaking in an empty Vatican. One church in the Philippines even taped photos of its parishioners to the pews.

Mr Farr said: “We’ve had people taking part, hearing and seeing each other.

“We think, from the feedback we are getting, this is a good way to keep the continuity in church life going.”

To connect to the online services, visit Click on ‘online church’ at the bottom of the home page to find the videos or check the church’s Facebook page.


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