Usually the Easter Sunday ‘Churches Together’ service is held on Swanage beach as dawn breaks but this year, congregation of any sort is banned, so the Easter message has gone digital.
Churches in Swanage like elsewhere, were told to close to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, so they’ve been holding services online
Virtual church services
There are three online Easter Sunday church virtual services on Sunday 12th April 2020.
The second is the All Saints Swanage service, half an hour later at 10.30 am on YouTube
There’s also The Church of the Holy Spirit and St Edward, where Father Tim Lewis will hold mass at 10 am on Facebook Live
All night online vigil
Those who are missing getting up early to go to the beach could watch the all night online vigil that has been put together by Assistant Curate at St Mark’s Church, Rev’d Solveig Sonet and other clergy from around the country. It can be watched here
Church leaders are also keeping in touch with parishioners using social media. Among them is the Minister at the United Reformed Church (URC) on High Street, Rev’d Martyn Neads, who has his own YouTube channel
“Life in Swanage at the moment is not like anything we have experienced before. And we feel it more at the moment as the sun shines gloriously over this holiday weekend while we cannot go beyond the boundaries of our homes, as we work together to keep everyone safe.
“Church buildings may be closed, but church communities are buzzing with the excitement and anxiety of doing things in new ways!”
The URC also has a Facebook page
All Saints Swanage, alongside its online services also has a daily ‘Thought for the Day’ on its Facebook page
At the Swanage Methodist Church, its Minister, Rev’d Karen James keeps in touch, helped at times by her dog, Toby, via her Facebook page
The Wave Youth group, which is run by all the churches, is communicating via its Facebook page and one suspects there is quite a bit of WhatsApp- ing going on too!