A CHURCH took a historic leap into the 21st century by broadcasting its harvest festival service to people across the world.
St George’s Church in Waterlooville streamed its annual service as part of the ChurchLive online initiative, set up by the Church of England.
And the congregation of the Hambledon Road worship site extended a warm invite to scores of other churches named after St George.
It’s believed some 60 other churches from across the UK joined with the Waterlooville team in the harvest celebration, yesterday morning, along with others as far afield as Tasmania, California and South Africa.
As part of the event, scores of people donated food and items which will be given to the Waterlooville Food Bank and the Two Saints’ Centre in Fareham.
The idea was the brainchild of the church’s press officer Chris Gadd.
To have one thousand people watching our live event has been wonderfulFather Mike Sheffield, parish priest
He said: ‘It was a great success. We’ve had about 60 churches joining in and our live stream will be watched by thousands of people.’
Father Mike Sheffield, parish priest of St George’s, led the hour-long service, which was attended by about 100 people.
‘To have 1,000 people watching our live event has been wonderful,’ he said.
‘Maybe, just maybe, we have ignited the spark in a few of those people which has kick-started a desire within them to want to come and worship.’
Children helped during the service by collecting food and leading parts of it.
Simon Lloyd, nine, of Waterlooville, is an altar boy.
Speaking of the event, he said: ‘It’s been important because it’s teaching people to not just take food for granted, and to not just have feasts while there are poor people in poorer countries than us living without any food.’
Food donated included pasta, cereal, tinned fruit, tea and baked beans.
Fr Mike added it was vital to support the food bank and Two Saints’ Centre – which helps troubled young people.
He said: ‘Food banks can be used by anybody and everybody. You might have just been made redundant, had a relationship break-up or have gone through personal tragedy. It could be any one of us who one day needs this help.’
St George’s live stream is available to watch by searching ‘ChurchLive’ on Twitter.