During Autumn 2020, St James’ (Slaithwaite), Shred (Upper Slaithwaite) and St Bartholomew’s (Marsden), jointly began HomeChurch: a Sunday service of Holy Communion including singing, scripture, sermons and the companionship of sharing of bread and wine. This was in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It has now established itself as another Benefice congregation, here in the Colne Valley, co-led by Ali Baxter (Lay Worship Leader) and Carol Holdsworth (Licensed Reader).
We meet via the internet (Zoom) using our smartphones, tablets, and computers, and, also importantly via a dial-in telephone line accessible from any ordinary home telephone. Everyone is welcome to join us, even your pets! For cyber-security reasons you need to request the meeting details. These can be obtained from Ali Baxter, Revd Joanna Baxter Fielding or Revd Graeme Holdsworth:
HomeChurch uses a form of liturgy which is simple yet sacred, and respects the dispersed nature of our congregation. Because we gather together in Christ’s name, but remain physically separate our worship reflects this. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matt 18:20)… whether we gather by smartphone, tablet, computer, or by regular home telephone; we are all Children of God and therefore we truly are Church in this context.
In preparation for the service, you may wish to light a candle and have a piece of bread ready for communion. Some of us have a cup of tea or coffee too. You may also wish to have a cross or another Christian symbol on your table or desk.
The service words can be viewed on the Zoom Shared Screen or from a service sheet brought to you at home upon request: please let Ali, Joanna, Graeme, or your Churchwardens know if you would like a paper copy.
We join the meeting from 10.50am – to give us time to meet and prepare for the service, which starts at 11am. To help with cyber-security, we use a “waiting room” as this protects us from mischievous intrusion to the service, but we welcome you into the meeting (from the waiting room) as soon as we can.
If you are joining by telephone, we do request you to identify yourself simply because we are sharing communion with you as brothers and sisters in Christ. If you join late, you will still be admitted but may have to wait a short while as we are juggling the technical aspects of online worship. We have discovered it is best to ‘mute’ everyone during the service because background noise interferes with the sound quality and sometimes leads to an odd echo effect.