West Cork parish to mark one year of virtual worship with interview featuring Bishop Colton

West Cork parish to mark one year of virtual worship with interview featuring Bishop Colton

A Church of Ireland union of parishes in West Cork is to mark the one year anniversary of online worship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with a virtual interview featuring the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Bishop Paul Colton. Picture: Denis Minihane.

A Church of Ireland union of parishes in West Cork is to mark the one year anniversary of virtual worship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with an interview featuring the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Bishop Paul Colton.

The rector of Fanlobbus, Reverend Cliff Jeffers, has invited Bishop Colton to do an online interview with him, reflecting on the past year.

Before the pandemic, 87% of parishes in Cork, Cloyne and Ross were not using technology to broadcast their Sunday Services online.

However, the proportion which are now online has increased from 13% to 64%.

In other parishes, often where there is poor broadband or fewer parishioners with access to the internet, materials for Sunday worship are posted or hand-delivered by the clergy and teams of volunteers to households.

In Fanlobbus Union of parishes, which comprises Dunmanway, Drimoleague, Drinagh and Coolkelure, a number of parishioners take part each Sunday using their telephones.

When church buildings reopened for public worship in the summer the parish connected the building to the internet and the services from the church continued to be broadcast online.

"This is one example of the many responses of many types – traditional and using technology – called into action in Cork, Cloyne and Ross in response to the uncharted territory that is the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The clergy, lay church workers and volunteers in this Diocese have all been working really hard in response to this crisis," commented Bishop Colton.

"One year on, I wrote yesterday to everyone to thank them. 

"As Bishop of the Diocese, I am hugely grateful for what everyone has been doing so faithfully and creatively," he continued. 

Reverend Cliff Jeffers and the team involved in all of this in Fanlobbus Union of Parishes have opted for an interactive type of online broadcast to gather the people together. 

"We have had 40 interviews in the last year from people from West Cork and all around the world who are connected to Dunmanway and West Cork to hear how Covid-19 is affecting them and what is happening in their lives. 

"Each week, the online community are invited to send in photographs of what they are doing and are also given a specific theme to take or find photos to link in with the sermon," he explained. 

Details of tomorrow's service can be found click here

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