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The United Reformed Church has produced a series of free guides with advice for churches and church organisations to help them stay in contact with and support their local community during and after lockdown. 

The guides include advice for post-lockdown recovery plans and help with setting up and running social media accounts and using technology to communicate with the outside world.

You can download all the guides as PDFs here or scroll down the page to get the information online in a more accessible format.

Doing online differentlyA free guide to help you navigate your church's digital journey.

The importance of digital

We’ve talked for years about the need to “do church differently”, and the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to do just that! Lockdown has shown us that our online life as churches is neither second-best nor an afterthought: it is a vital part of how we live, worship and engage in mission.

We need to think about an online presence in terms of community-building – interactive, mutually beneficial and adding value to visitors’ lives.

A digital space, in other words, for a shared journey of discipleship. The fellowship, inclusion and connection that are made possible by the technology are also demanded by the call to follow Jesus faithfully in today’s world.

Read more: Doing Online Differently - a roadmap for digital discipleship

Emerging into the new normalThe latest free resource from the United Reformed Church, Emerging into the "new normal",  provides the basis for further local discussion and some clear church policy for post-lockdown activity. 

This document updates and replaces “Ready for the New Normal.” It has been prepared by the Synod Moderators to reflect the changes about to take place as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased and it becomes possible for places of worship to reopen. 

Read more: Emerging into the "new normal"

Online and contacless givingA free guide for churches that are considering using contactless giving to avoid passing an offertory plate and handling cash due to increased risks from Coronavirus. 

As well as the now well established method of setting up a bank standing order for giving to the local church, some more technological solutions are being used by a number of churches.

None of methods outlined here are offered as recommendations – this is just a survey of some of the means already in use. Prices, fees, commission on transactions and other terms may be changed, and churches are strongly advised to check the details are current and correct before committing to any particular path.

Read more: Online and contactless giving at local churches

New reality cover RGB

A free booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

The URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, have produced a new booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

Read more: New reality, same Mission: a stimulus to renewed community engagement as we emerge from the pandemic

Zoom Breakout Rooms

A free guide to help you set up Zoom Breakout Rooms for your church or church organisation.  

What are Zoom Breakout Rooms? 

The Breakout Rooms feature is unique to Zoom, and what makes Zoom the ideal platform for moving church online. It is what transforms an online meeting into genuine fellowship, and means you can have real, in-depth conversations as well as mingling with a host of other people. If you’re active with church online during the lockdown and haven’t discovered them the feature, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The Breakout Rooms feature allows you as the host to allocate a large group of participants into breakout rooms in whatever size groups they want, either by drawing up the room lists yourself, or allowing the software to allocate groups automatically.

Read more: Zoom Breakout Rooms – a guide for churches

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