'Virtual minister' leads worship at two churches

Congregation in Paisley watch the Glasgow service The link-up was created using a high-end remote-controlled camera

The first Free Church of Scotland service has been held using equipment to link two congregations miles apart.

Paisley Free Church, which has no minister, linked up with Dowanvale Free Church, seven miles away in Glasgow's west end, for the Sunday service.

Rev Kenneth Stewart was the virtual minister leading the worship, appearing simultaneously in both churches.

The firm behind the technology, WS Steele, said it planned to offer it to other churches facing similar problems.

The link-up was created using a high-end remote-controlled camera.

'Very busy'

The signal was relayed by laptop to the Silk Street church where the congregation participated via an 8ft x 8ft screen.

Ivor Martin, Free Church spokesman, said: "The image that is very often given and perceived by the public of the Free Church as being backward is a false one. It is one that does not match up to the reality.

"Ordinary people in the Free Church are trying to make the most at this time of modern technology."

WS Steele's managing director, Stuart McArthur, said: "It's the first time we have used our Audio Visual conferencing expertise to link two churches.

"We're confident the 'virtual minister' format will work well and prove cost-effective, and we plan to offer it to other churches facing a similar problem."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Glasgow & West

Weather

Glasgow

17 °C 13 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.