Since the beginning of lockdown, the Rev John McClure, rector of Muckamore, Killead and Gartree, and the Rev John Farr from Stoneyford, have joined with Archdeacon Stephen McBride and the Rev Peter Blake of All Saints’, Antrim, to livestream Morning Prayer on Monday to Friday each week at 9am.
This has proved a real boost for their parishioners and also for many others who tuned in each morning.
Irene Paget, Mothers’ Union branch chairperson in Muckamore, and her husband Neil wrote of the initiative: “We have missed a few services but probably not more than four or five during the lockdown period. It is something of a morning routine… get up and get the TV fired up. Get the laptop connected and sit down with a cup of tea to follow and take part in the proceedings.
“We have enjoyed every minute of it, including the light-hearted banter. Thank you for the tremendous effort you have all put in to bringing services to all, both on a technical and ministerial level.”
John and Paddy Wallace from Antrim Parish also expressed thanks to the clergy for the 9am services. “They became so much part of our day and we will miss them. However we do appreciate that there is a limit to what you can do,” John and Paddy said.
Archdeacon McBride, vicar of Antrim, said: “Now that many parochial and pastoral activities are resuming and Sunday and midweek worship in church has recommenced, it has been decided that it isn’t possible to staff the services every day.
“However, given the need for a variety of ways of participating in worship, especially online for those who do not feel ready to return to church, perhaps this ministry is something that can be continued with clergy across the diocese who can livestream, contributing to a daily service of Morning Prayer?”