500-strong congregation for virtual church service

A virtual congregation of at least 500 people has logged on to an online broadcast of a Sunday church service.

The Rev lan Bain used broadband technology to spread the word from St Philip and St James’ church in Bath, for what is believed to be the first time in the UK.

Worshippers were able to log on to a website to watch and listen to the full Anglican church service from their homes.

Around 170 churchgoers made up the congregation – and at least a further 500 people from around the world logged on to become a virtual congregation.

The Rev Bain, 55, said he wanted to encourage people who were unable to get to church, those looking for a new way to worship and those who found it difficult to get up on a Sunday morning.

He described today’s service as “brilliant” and said he had really enjoyed it.

He said the congregation “loved” the idea and added: “Everybody seemed to enjoy it.”

Interested parties logged on to the broadcast from as far afield as Hong Kong, America, Australia and Uganda.

He said a blind disabled group had already emailed him to say they were “thrilled” with the idea.

The service took place on www.broadbandreligion.co.uk.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Ananova, UK
Aug. 31, 2003

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday August 31, 2003.
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