The Village Metropolitan Community Church has moved worship services to Skype to combat the isolation many members may feel due to social distancing and isolation made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message to church members Rev. Michael Hydes, Senior Pastor, said “The world has been changing very quickly over the last few weeks and the church is adapting to those changes. Understanding that social distancing is an imperative, we can no longer gather for worship as we have been doing. So, with immediate effect our worship services will be via a conference skype call.”

Participants can load the free Skype app onto their computer or phone. Create a username (or use an existing Microsoft email then you can just use that), then send Rev. Michael Hydes a message on Skype at ‘michaelhydes’ ). It’s as easy as that. On Sunday you will get a skype call about 5:30 to say that the worship call is open. You can then connect any time during the evening. Worship begins at 6pm.

Hymns will be played by Will, with words appearing on your screen. The congregation will not be able to sing together as the app can’t handle too many voices at once, so remember to mute your microphones during hymns.

There are a few rules that will make this easier and enjoyable for all.

    Please take time to prepare a glass/cup of wine/juice and a piece of bread so that we can celebrate and take communion together.

    No background noise please – even if a tv or radio is on low it’ll mess up the system.

    Remember to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.

    It’s church – clothing should be appropriate. (No PJs please!). If you do not want to be seen by others, then mute your camera.

    Use the ‘chat’ function (it’s a bit like messenger – or texting) to chat with everyone. This is a social gathering for worship.

“Living with the reality of Covid -19 is not easy,” continues Rev. Hydes. “I want to meet with folks and give a hug, but real-life meetings are solely for emergencies and hugs all have to be virtual.

“Remember, God loves you beyond your wildest imaginings. I love you, and just the thought of not being with you makes my heart ache. Jesus is with us no matter what technology we use to meet. Together we will get through this, and ensure that we all stay as healthy as possible.”

The Village MCC Brighton and Hove is a church that was created by LGBTQ Christians, their families, friends, and allies. It’s an MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) called to support the LGBTQ community in whatever ways it can. Church members are active in the larger community, offering emergency aid and support to the homeless and vulnerably housed.

The Village MCC services will be continuing via Skype at 6pm every Sunday

For more details, visit: www.thevillagemcc.org