Woodfield Grange uses the power of technology for virtual church service
7 April 2020
The Residents of Woodfield Grange had a very unconventional church service in March, when Amazon smart device Alexa took over from their usual vicar.
On the first Thursday of each month, Rev’d Ian Sparks of St Thomas’ Church in Greetland comes into the home with parishioners to conduct a special service for Residents.
However, due to the current restrictions on visiting care homes, Rev’d Ian couldn’t make his usual appointment, so staff decided to improvise.
When Residents congregated to worship together, they were handed print-outs for the service’s hymns. Then, using the power of Alexa, each hymn was played to the Residents, who thoroughly enjoyed singing along.
Ruth Lethbridge, 95, said: “It wasn’t like any church service I’ve ever been to before, but it was lovely of the staff to make an effort for us.
“Church has been an important part of my life, and I enjoy our regular service, so it was great to get the chance to worship after all.”
Faith is very important to a lot of Woodfield Grange’s Residents, so it was an excellent opportunity to bring them together for a sociable session.
After singing hymns and praying, with Alexa’s help, the caring staff started widening the musical remit and finding other songs for Residents to sing.
Anne Stafford, 80, said: “After those lovely hymns, I was in the mood for a sing-song, so we got started on the pop and rock songs.
“We sang all sorts of things that afternoon, some classics and rock n’ roll numbers. It was undoubtedly very uplifting and made us all feel good.”