Succeeding as a "Virtual Chaplain"

Sharing ideas and innovation in these extraordinary times

Ever since the announcement from the UK Government that schools would close to help combat the spread of Covid-19, our TISCA Chaplain’s WhatsApp group has been a buzz. There have been ideas on how to conduct Chapel services – life stream or pre-recorded – the best places to create podcasts and general encouragements to “Keep Going” and “This is what I have done, I hope it helps”.

Podcasting 101

One of the first to put their morning Chapel online was Cranleigh School. Chaplain Tim Lewis shared their first ever Cranleigh School Chapel podcast using anchor.fm. Thanks and encouragements came in quickly as others in similar positions tried out this new way of being:

Tim thanks for your podcast. You inspired me to do something similar here. I hadn’t realised it was so easy to put a podcast together using anchor. Recommend it. It has been well received by the dispersed community

Another chaplain sharing on our WhatsApp chat group

To live stream or not to live stream..?

Image by k-images from Pixabay

One of the bigger questions schools are facing is how to reach their pupils, staff, governors and, in some cases, parents with their virtual school materials. Do they live stream content through channels such as Facebook Live, or YouTube? What about using the Live streaming facility from Studio or Teams app in Office 365?

For some it is more a case of security and privacy. Berkhamsted has opted for placing an pre-recorded mp4 and uploaded it on their OneDrive for tutors to use in ‘tutor time’. YouTube has a privacy function whereby Kingham Hill “V-KHS” chapel will be prerecorded, edited and put on a closed YouTube link for their school community.

…and for Worship time?

How are Chaplaincy teams navigating the role of sung worship within their new virtual environments? Dean Close have opted for Spotify play lists for various worshiping communities in school. Others have posted links to YouTube videos. Do also remember to check with Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) for their updated information on streaming. https://uk.ccli.com/streaming/.

For the glory of God

Our TISCA UK Schools

However you choose to share morning prayers, full Chapel services, Christian Union meetings or Evensong there are many available options out there.

Training can be given and most schools have on-hand IT departments ready to up-skill chaplaincy teams looking for the most suitable platform for their virtual congregations.

Perhaps schools could try a weekly theology googlemeet forum like Monkton or a Zoom video e-classroom approach. One Chaplain has taken the plunge and signed up to Instragram. So we leave you with a recent post from this brave soul –

So as you social distance today, know that the Good Shepherd is only a prayer away

Chaplain at Oswestry School on Instragram

Blog written by Alix Stockwell, Development Officer for The Independent Schools Christian Alliance, with help and thanks from our TISCA Chaplains on our WhatsApp group.

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