More people attended church services online, says new Ludlow Archdeacon

The newly installed Archdeacon of Ludlow said the number of people joining worship online rose during lockdown and she hopes more young people will get involved.

The Archdeacon of Ludlow, Reverend Fiona Gibson
The Archdeacon of Ludlow, Reverend Fiona Gibson

Reverend Fiona Gibson said more people have taken up worship as it became more accessible due to services being held online over platforms such as Zoom.

The former primary school teacher also hopes more young people will get involved with the church as she goes forward with her hybrid online and face to face approach to the role.

She said: "We have seen an increase in the number of people taking up worship online, some people are just dipping their toes in the water as well I think.

"People have also been out and about more in their communities, talking to neighbours about big issues.

"Research by Tearfund found that around 45 per cent of young people aged between 18-24 have been turning to prayer during the pandemic. Prayer groups and messages have really grown.

"More people have been undertaking Christianity courses. Online worship just makes it more accessible, especially for young people.

Communities

"It is a great way to reach millennials, which is absolutely something I'm hoping to do. I am really looking forward to getting to know the area and the people, across all communities and all faiths and none."

As church services had to be taken online during lockdown, it gave people who hadn't attended before an opportunity to give it a go.

Fiona, who was installed as Ludlow Archdeacon on Monday, said churches in the county had seen an increase in people joining the online sessions and hoped it would continue as services go back to normal.

As a former primary school teacher, and someone who has worked with children in her former St Albans Diocese, Fiona said she is looking forward to working with the county's schools in her new role.

She said: "Under the Hereford and Ludlow Archdeacons there are six deaneries, which is approximately 40 benefices, and then some of those benefices may have around 10 or 12 parishes.

"There is a total of 400 churches and around 72 Church of England schools across the diocese.

"I will also have a role in education working with the church schools. This is a part of the role anyway but with my background in education, it made me think it could be a good fit for me."

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