Preaching to the connected
Soundcloud is an online tool more associated with rock bands and pop singers.
But churches in the Rutherglen and Cambuslang areas are now using it to spread their message.
The site is most commonly used by musicians, who upload songs to the internet, and it is particularly popular with emerging or unsigned acts trying to make a name for themselves.
However, both St Bride’s Church in Cambuslang and Stonelaw Parish Church in Rutherglen have been uploading services to the online site.
Neil Paterson handles the online side of St Bride’s and believes it is a good way to spread the church’s message.
He said: “When Father Morton came back to the parish he was really keen to get the website going again and getting more useful things online again.
“The idea behind the recordings was that there are a lot of parishioners who are unable to attend each week, due to illness or being elderly, or some might just want to revisit a particular Mass.
“Some of the Soundcloud stats to date show that the most popular ones have been first holy communions or the St Bride’s Primary School leaving Mass so people are going in, wanting to hear a big event again.”
That is similar to what Alistair May of Stonelaw Church has found.
He said: “We’ve been doing it for a wee while now.
“We’ve always recorded services at the church over the decades and a few years ago we started uploading them on to the website.
“Now we’re using Soundcloud and letting people download them from there.
“That seems more accessible and it allows folk from the congregation to access it if they’re housebound or unable to attend the service.
“I know some churches have been live-casting services on a Sunday too but that’s not in the foreseeable future for us.”
The online presence has also meant some of the services have found a wider audience than before.
Neil said: “The other angle has been for ex-parishioners, who can go back and listen to their home parish again.
“We’ve had people listening from the United States and in Europe but we’ve also had listeners from Trinidad and Tobago, the Philippines and Kuwait.
“People now listen to podcasts or things like Spotify, rather than buying an album, and with smartphones it’s much more common.
“That means it’s a great thing for the church to be doing and getting involved with.”
More information can be found at soundcloud.com/stonelaw-church or at soundcloud.com/saint-brideschurch-cambuslang.
On air Father Paul Morton