St James by the park church embraces a new technological gathering as serums move online.

Social distancing has restricted the meeting for Sunday church but St James by the park has combat this through the use of online platforms and streaming services like Zoom, allowing locals to connect to the church and keep practising their faith during this difficult time.

Peter Craggs, a member, and church warden of St James spoke of the transition to virtual services and the need to keep normality during this time of change. “it’s been a time of extremes and very different experiences for different people not just for the people in our congregation but for different people across Shirley.”

An online engagement team has been set up by the church to expand its online potential using many resources one of which being Kahoot, a live quiz platform often used in schools for lesson related topics and Prayer requests made by the churches members to be sent out via email, connecting the community even without meeting fact to face.

St James has gained online worshippers outside of the congregation and building a wider community online through inviting people who cannot connect with their own church as well as joining a online organisation of churches called Love Southampton aiming to support residents and the most vulnerable people during quarantine.

Love Southampton supports locals across the city with volunteers getting essential items for people unable to leave their home, calling citizens alone and isolated during the pandemic and finding new ways to be useful in the community. Love Southampton symbolises a quote headlining the top of their website by Paul Woodman from City Life Church “Our buildings are closed but the Church is very much still active. Love Southampton is about the many ways we can all show love to others.”