Church holds first-ever drive-in worship


Churches today held their first ever drive-in services as they resumed Sunday worship for the first time since lockdown began.  

A church in Hampshire saw a vicar lead its service from a car park, with worshippers asked to sing within their cars with members of their own household.

In Darlington, a drive-in church service was held in the car park of a local rugby club.  

Reverend Claire Towns, of St Barnabas Church, led the unique drive-in service, which began at 10am in Swanmore

Hants, along with lay minister Sally Beazley, 55. A church today hosted its first ever drive-in service, with a vicar leading the event from a car park

Hants, along with lay minister Sally Beazley, 55. A church today hosted its first ever drive-in service, with a vicar leading the event from a car park

Around 40 cars full of worshippers gathered outside a village hall to hear music and listen to the words of the minister

Around 40 cars full of worshippers gathered outside a village hall to hear music and listen to the words of the minister

Around 40 cars full of worshippers gathered outside a village hall in Swanmore, Hampshire, to hear music and listen to the words of the minister.

Everyone in the vehicles put their driver side window down, so they could join in with the singing, but left the passenger window up to help with social distancing.

People put their hands through the sunroof of their cars and clapped along while reading from hymn sheets provided by the church.

Reverend Claire Towns, of St Barnabas Church, led the unique drive-in service, which began at 10am, along with lay minister Sally Beazley, 55.

The 51-year-old reverend said: ‘We decided that we wanted to offer people the chance to sing, as that is an important part of Christian worship.

‘We thought we would offer a drive-in service that revolved around singing – as well as our first act of public worship in the church itself.

Everyone in the vehicles put their driver side window down, so they could join in with the singing, but left the passenger window up to help with social distancing

Everyone in the vehicles put their driver side window down, so they could join in with the singing, but left the passenger window up to help with social distancing

Reverend Claire Towns, of St Barnabas Church, led the unique drive-in service

Reverend Claire Towns, of St Barnabas Church, led the unique drive-in service

Worshippers were asked to sing within their cars with members of their own household

Worshippers were asked to sing within their cars with members of their own household

‘For people in the village, it’s another sign that the church is at the heart of this community.’

St Barnabas Church has been offering live-streamed worship services during the lockdown, and has opened the church to villagers and others so they can pray privately at various times over the past two weeks.

Musician Peter Fellows led the singing from a keyboard, and the Rev Claire Towns led the service using microphones and a PA system.

A drive-in church service is held in the car park of Mowden Park Rugby Club in Darlington

A drive-in church service is held in the car park of Mowden Park Rugby Club in Darlington

The service, organised by Darlington Baptist Church and other religious groups in the town, saw hundreds of cars park up as churches start to resume services for the first time since lockdown began

The service, organised by Darlington Baptist Church and other religious groups in the town, saw hundreds of cars park up as churches start to resume services for the first time since lockdown began

A man holds a 'Wecome' sign at the start of the drive-in service in Darlington this morning

A man holds a ‘Wecome’ sign at the start of the drive-in service in Darlington this morning 

Worshippers were asked to sing within their cars with members of their own household.

Because today is also the first Sunday on which the government is allowing public worship to happen in church buildings, there was also a simple, traditional Communion service at 8am that morning inside the church itself.

However, due to limited space the church was only able to allow 15 households into the building, hence the need for the drive in service held later on.

A worshipper at the service in Darlington waves her hands out of the car window as she joins in with the singing on Sunday morning

A worshipper at the service in Darlington waves her hands out of the car window as she joins in with the singing on Sunday morning 

A worshipper sings along during the service in Darlington this morning

A worshipper sings along during the service in Darlington this morning 

Attendees of the service line up their cars in the car park of the Mowden Park Rugby Club

Attendees of the service line up their cars in the car park of the Mowden Park Rugby Club 

The service saw hundreds of cars park up at Mowden Park Rugby Club

The service saw hundreds of cars park up at Mowden Park Rugby Club

A woman holds a sign reading: 'We missed you'

A woman holds a sign reading: ‘We missed you’ 

Meanwhile, in Darlington, a drive-in church service was held in the car park of Mowden Park Rugby Club. 

The service, organised by Darlington Baptist Church and other religious groups in town, saw hundreds of cars park up as churches start to resume services for the first time since lockdown began.   

Worshippers queue for the reopening of Westminster Cathedral  

Worshippers on Sunday queued to enter Westminster Cathedral in London for Sunday Mass on the first Sunday since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased to allow for communal prayer.

Churches opened their doors for Sunday Mass for the first time in months since the coronavirus restrictions were eased in England. 

One woman was seen carrying a globe with a statue of Jesus on it.

The Christian devotee is a regular at Westminster Cathedral and has been attending services with her statue of Jesus sitting atop the globe for 26 years. 

A worshipper carries a globe with a statue of Jesus on it as she queues to enter Westminster Cathedral in London on July 5

A worshipper carries a globe with a statue of Jesus on it as she queues to enter Westminster Cathedral in London on July 5

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