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A Rector Recovers

by Michael Ford last modified 23 May, 2020 06:23 PM

As Shaftesbury Team Rector Helen Dawes recovers from suspected coronavirus, she has been interviewed by local media outlet ThisIsAlfred.

A Rector Recovers


The Revd Dr Helen Dawes is now back at work and her team is considering continuing to stream church services when lockdown ends. The local Facebook broadcasts of worship have been well-received, and a virtual coffee morning has been launched on Zoom, with a purely social focus, and anyone is welcome to join in.

What was it like being ill?

“Bad enough – not needing to go to hospital, but not able to do anything else for quite a few days.

"It's been a real challenge, and people have really worked together and had a go at new things, and found ways to make things work - things like broadcasting services over the internet. Not only have we worked out how to do it, and got a bit more relaxed about it, but we've now found ways to have several people in different places contributing to the same service.

"That means not only that the clergy are able to take part in leading worship, but some of our lay ministers and church members are able to join in as well, and that feels more like the way we would normally run a church service.

"On any given Sunday, it might be me presiding from my study, Pam preaching from hers, Jeremy doing the intercessions from his kitchen, Kirsty reading from her study, and other people joining in."

Asked whether she had placed any impressive books in shot when broadcasting, she joked:

"I don't think I have, although I've had to do a certain amount of placing books to get my laptop at the right height!"

On future plans, she said:

"One of the things that we'll be doing - probably over the next month - is thinking carefully about what services it might be possible to start to offer again as and when churches are open, and we'll be able to get advice on that.

"But we're also aware that there are going to be people who are absolutely at the centre of our church communities who won't be able to come back to services for a while, and so we're also thinking about how we will continue our online worship, even after we start being able to have some services in church.

"Mutual support and community is an important part of being a church, as well as the coming together for worship."

Listen to the full interview here, from 10 min 22 sec.

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