REVEREND Paul Deakin’s audio services are proving a hit with parishioners since the church went into lockdown in March.

Paul is the vicar at St Cross Church in Knutsford, and launched the audio services the day after the lockdown was introduced by the Government.

The services are recorded in Paul’s study, and have been held three times a week, at 10am on Wednesday and 10am and 6.30pm on Sunday.

From this week the Sunday evening service will revert to once a month, on the first Sunday, as Paul launched a video on Sunday aimed at young people.

"I lead the services from my study, which has become like a mini recording studio,” he said.

“I went for audio because if we believe in a God we can’t see then it’s important to listen and sit still, and with audio there is less potential distraction.

“It has become a like a fireside chat – the aim is to make people feel as though they are the only one that’s being spoken to.

“I have had a lot of positive feedback from people who under the restrictions have not been able to go out.

“I want those who have a faith already for that faith to be sustained through this time when they cannot physically meet, and for anyone who is enquiring it’s a safe way for people to explore without feeling any pressure.

“People are hearing a local voice they know, and can access the audio services on the church website, which saw a 25 increase in hits in April. I have also started to do videos for young families as we want to engage more with them.”

Paul said the audio and video services would continue in some form after the lockdown ended.

He added: “It has made me realise the importance of this type of ministry, which can help people who cannot get to church physically.

“Even though they can watch Songs of Praise or listen to Radio 4 it’s the local contact that so important to them.”

Paul thanked Steven Benson, a priest/minister in the congregation, who runs his own production company, and edits the recordings into one file.

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