Hanwell's Virtual Coffee Mornings

Ray Garnett from Hanwell writes about running virtual coffee mornings

At Hanwell, no doubt like at other Churches in our Circuit, we have been missing one another. Because of the coronavirus, Hanwell has had to cancel numerous meetings such as our Great Easter Egg Hunt, monthly coffee mornings, Wednesday Club social meetings and other events. But we have risen to the challenge to keep in contact, and on Wednesday 8th April set up a virtual coffee morning video conferencing session for members wishing to take part. It was great to see many of us attending from our own homes and catch up with news about how people were coping. I brought along some virtual biscuits and offered them round but then ate them myself!

If by the time you read this article we are still in lockdown and not meeting up then remember that meeting online even for just a social chat is still possible. My barbershop singing chorus, Capital Chorus, who practice on a Monday evening at Kingsdown Church, have still been meeting up for singing rehearsal and practice via video conferencing.

If you want to try meeting up with others who attend your Church but from your own homes, then do try it out. We have been using video conferencing software called Zoom. It is free of charge and is very simple to setup. You will need a computer or laptop with integrated or plugged in web camera and microphone. You can do it without a camera but others attending the meeting will not see you and you will only have audio facilities to talk with others. You will need to put the Zoom app on your computer - this can be done by going into Google and searching for Zoom or Zoom download and then click on the download that Google offers you to install it. Someone then needs to offer to be the host (similar to a chairman) to schedule a meeting and let attendees know when the meeting is and the meeting number (plus password if required). Attendees then, at the scheduled time, log in to Zoom, click on the Join button and enter the meeting number and there you all are.

Although the software is free it only allows a 40 minute meeting and I believe 100 attendees, but you can pay to have a professional version of Zoom which relaxes these constraints. Anyone wanting advice can send me an email.