White Light (WL) is helping Methodist Central Hall Westminster (MCHW) deliver its Sunday Morning Service with a live stream on 29th March.
The building is currently closed due to COVID-19 crisis, and as the church’s in-house production service partner, WL has adapted its pioneering SmartStage technology to provide a remote solution, enabling the congregation to join together safely for their service.
This immersive production environment will enable MCHW’s ministerial staff team to address a global congregation directly from the SmartStage, located in a sterilised space at WL’s Wimbledon headquarters. No physical contact will be required, as viewers will be able to participate from the safety of their homes, using the Zoom video conferencing service.
WL’s technical solutions director, Andy Hook said: “The [SmartStage] system allows participants to see and interact with content surrounding them, as well as each other, which adds an experiential layer that has not been achievable with previous technologies. We are delighted that SmartStage could be adapted for this purpose, as it will help bring a sense of community spirit to those who need it.”
Deputy superintendent minister at Methodist Central Hall Westminster, Revd Tony Miles, added: “Our first virtual service was streamed from our chapel to our YouTube channel on Mothering Sunday and over a thousand people watched the live broadcast!
“The backdrop will feature imagery familiar to the MCHW congregation, and other familiar touchpoints to enhance the virtual reality experience. From the SmartStage environment, everyone will clearly be able to see me, as well as camera views of our ministry team. I will also see the faces of others as they take part in the service, so we will all benefit from a sense of connection and interaction.
“At a time when many are feeling isolated, uncertain, and even fearful, it’s wonderful that we can continue to worship and provide some comfort and hope, using this incredible technology.”