Wollongong’s local churches have moved to live streaming this Easter in line with social distancing restrictions.
The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong will move from pre-recorded meetings to live-broadcast mass and liturgies as part of ‘Holy Week Online’.
Wollongong Diocese’s Creative Director Daniel Hopper has embraced the challenge, saying the social distancing restrictions are a chance for change.
“It’s the greatest opportunity for us to stop as a Church. To think what are the basics? What are we supposed to be doing and how can we do it better,” Mr Hopper said.
Local members of the Wollongong Hillsong Church will also be able to tune-in online, with the organisation hosting nine separate Friday and Sunday services for all its members.
Wollongong and Online Hillsong Pastor Nathan Mclean said accessibility and community are the most to his church.
“The goal with that is to give people the greatest opportunity to be involved… We’ll stream across Facebook, YouTube and we’ve got our own platform as well,” Pastor Mclean said.
“We’ve even got a 1 AM service time. I know, crazy.”
The Wollongong Baptist Church has moved all meetings online, using the live-chat program Zoom to carry out church events.
Wollongong Baptist Church-goer Luke Simpson said the safety is worth the inconvenience.
“We can’t see our friends and Church-family, but its good we can still use technology to keep meeting together online,” Mr Simpson said.
“As Christians, we have to play our part in stopping the spread, so we’re really blessed we live in an area with technology.”
The Wollongong Diocese’s decision to live stream mass this Easter comes after an e-mail from Rome suggested the technology be used.
Creative Director Daniel Hopper said it’s a change that could be permanent for the rest of Australia’s social distancing restrictions.
“We’ll make a judgment after Holy week whether we’ll go back to pre-records or stay with live stream,” Mr Hooper said.
He said the Facebook accounts for the Diocese’s parishes have risen since the social distancing restrictions were put in place last month, with some producing smaller live streams themselves.
The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong’s ‘Holy Week Online’ live streams will take place at 7pm Thursday, 10am and 3pm Friday, and 7pm Saturday AEST.
The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong will be live streaming it’s first mass for the Easter Celebrations for it’s ‘Holy Week Online’! Adapt. Overcome. #uowcreative
— Liam Mallia (@liammallia99) April 8, 2020