OVER 80 Methodist families came together for Easter worship over the weekend as live-streamed services were held to mark Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

With churches closed because of the current Covid-19 outbreak, Methodist church members from Northwich and Winsford enjoyed worship from their own front rooms, studies and kitchens.

On Good Friday, Rev Chris Prichard of Kingsmead led the service, with Deacon Shirley Hassall reading the lessons from her home in Lostock Gralam.

Also joining the service was Rev Tim Simms from Cuddington, Rev Jam Patron Bell from Winsford and Rev Pat Billsborrow from Castle.

While the service on Good Friday reflected on Jesus’ death on the cross, Easter Sunday’s service, the day that saw Jesus’ resurrection, called for a day of happiness, joy and celebration.

“We first started to live-stream our services on Palm Sunday, and as news of our creative way of worship got around, our online congregation has grown,” said Rev Pritchard.

“Easter is the most important festival of the year for Christians, so to see so many people attend our service was the greatest gift the church could receive.

“It is weird to give a service from your own study knowing that your congregation are sitting in their front rooms joining in from their favourite armchair.

Winsford Guardian:

Rev Chris Pritchard, mid Cheshire circuit superintendent minister, during a live-stream service

“With so many church friends popping up on my screen singing and joining in our prayers, it was an experience I never expected when I trained for the ministry.

“To say the Mid Cheshire Methodist Circuit has zoomed into the cloud is an understatement, and as we continue our live on-line worship, all are welcome.”

John Hulme, who joined the service along with his wife Joan from their Barnton home, said: “On a Sunday morning, we would normally be at our church in Castle listening to God’s message of love and hope.

“Instead, we were in the isolation, albeit comfort, of our own home listening to Chris celebrate the joyfulness of Eastertide from his study more than four miles way.

“It was very apt and moving to pray with Chris for those working in the NHS, hospices and care homes, along with other key workers like our refuse collectors, shop workers and many more.

“We have a lot to thank our key workers for in these unprecedented times.

“It was an unreal experience but yet another encounter we are learning to live with under lock-down”

If you wish to join the next local Methodist live-streamed service, head to castlecommunitychurch.org.uk for further details.