A new phrase has been coined during the pandemic namely the ‘hybrid church’

So what does this actually mean?  It describes the growth of online platforms churches are using.

This has been particularly accelerated over the last two years as a response to the restrictions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this short video Catholics thank Pope Francis for live-streamed daily Masses

In our own Family of Parishes live streaming is becoming the new ‘normal’ giving people safe access to Mass from their home. Funeral Masses are accessed by appreciative people all over the globe like the relatives in New Zealand for the recent Mass from St Mary’s Church tucked away in rural Rossmore. Zoom has become a common place platform for Meetings, Prayers and Bible Study whilst inspirational videos and quotes abound in Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Amazing Opportunities

The Hybrid Church does not necessarily mean everything happens online, rather it presents some amazing opportunities for outreach and enhancing the spiritual lives of people. It is fascinating to witness the creative ideas flourishing around the world with seemingly unlimited new opportunities.

  • Prayer meetings now have dozens of people attending
  • Lockdown choirs have sprung up
  • Partners and family members who might not normally attend Mass have watched alongside believers
  • You can now give donations online
  • Food banks are using church networks
  • WhatsApp groups to stay in touch
  • Alpha courses are online
  • the list goes on…

What’s apparent is that many parishioners may now not be in the church building and indeed not even residing in your Parish! What’s clear is these new services are here to stay – they have become part of the ‘new normal’.

There’s plenty of room to improve and develop and of course there is always the simple act of helping a neighbour with how to access Mass or a Zoom prayer meeting.

Hybrid Church offers inclusion for people who may be isolated, disabled, far away, housebound, in hospital or a care home. It also affords access to people on the periphery, curious about the Christian faith or just inspired to take a moment out of their day for some ‘mindfulness’ or meditation on a song or quote. See Reflect

The Challenges

The Church is facing major challenges. The Christian faith has little relevance for many of the younger generations and there is a major shortage of newly ordained Priests. However, these new platforms offer a significant hope for outreach and evangelism if we can take up the challenge to embrace and use them to spread the Good News.

As the Great Commission Jesus commanded...

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation..." (Mark Ch.16 vs.15)

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