Preach­ing to the con­nected

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

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 sound­ or at sound­­bus­lang.

On air Fa­ther Paul Mor­ton

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