Clips and content from the services have been seen 40 million times on social media channels.
The Church of England’s prayer and discipleship apps – in which people can join in ancient services of morning and evening prayer from wherever they are – have been accessed eight million times, up 50 per cent on the previous year.
The figures for online services are thought to be just the tip of the iceberg as churches’ response to the challenge of the pandemic triggered a major change in the way Christians worship and reach out to their neighbours.
At least 20,000 services and other online events are now listed on the Church of England’s ‘church-finder’ website AChurchNearYou. A year ago there were none.
And a special hymn download service, designed for local churches to use as part of online worship, has seen more than a million downloads.
As churches look ahead to an expected easing of restrictions and more public gatherings, many are assessing how to incorporate the lessons of the last year into their regular patterns of worship and outreach after the pandemic.
— Rich Brooker (@AhhhBe) March 16, 2021