Over the summer, we undertook a project that was rather unusual compared to our typical work. We were delighted to collaborate with Hadleigh Technical Support to enable live streaming of church services at Baxter United Reformed Church in Kidderminster to the Albany Terrace United Reform Church in Worcester.
As a result of financial pressures the Albany Terrace URC has been left without a Vicar. Having close ties with their Worcester based sister Church, Baxter URC began brainstorming ways in which they could lend the church a helping hand. Unfortunately lending them their Vicar was going to be difficult because, as the saying goes, you can’t be in two places at the same time.
The solution they have come up with is to livestream the service or sermon from their church in Kidderminster to the church in Worcester. This could be a Sunday service or just a sermon and anybody too infirm or elderly to make it to church could watch the service live on YouTube at home or record it to watch later. Hadleigh Technical Services from Pershore contacted One Minute Wonders to provide cameras and software that would enable Baxter United Reform Church in Kidderminster to live stream Vicar Andrew Mann-Ray’s sermon to Albany URC Church in Worcester.
In order to facilitate live streaming at Baxter URC, we first had to source cameras to film the sermons. The 3 cameras we sourced were then fitted by HTS, high up at the back of the church, so that every area of the altar could be covered and different shot sizes produced for different events happening in the service.
We then linked each camera up to the church laptop, via a box that decoded the signal so that live streaming software could be used. The software enabled the operator to cut between each camera during the live transmission like a vision mixer would do on a live sports or musical event. The live pictures were then streamed to the Church’s YouTube Channel so that worshipers could watch the service live in the Worcester Church or at home on YouTube later in the day once the service had finished.
It was the first time some parishioners from the URC Church in Worcester had seen the inside of Baxter Church for many years. They are thinking of having the same setup there so that they can also live stream back to Baxter.
The work carried out Baxter URC in Kidderminster is just one example of how video and audio visual technology can benefit churches. Video is a great tool that churches can make use of from live streaming from one church to another, to screening YouTube videos created and uploaded by other churches.