Video and streaming solutions for churches
Practical guidance and tips for those continuing to use digital platforms for worship and outreach.
Everybody Welcome Online
With Mike Lowe, BUGB National Communications Manager, and Ben Stacey from Plugged-In Audio Visual.
has been written by the Ven Bob Jackson (Visiting Fellow St Johns College Durham) and the Revd George Fisher (Retired Director of Mission Lichfield Diocese) as a gift to help all churches and ministers who are going online in these times. They have teamed up with the Durham University Centre for Digital Theology and you will find this document plus lots of other helpful information on their website
Their second core document
, published on May 28th, is about embracing the future.
There are a lot of new online churchgoers - the document tries to work out how many. Then it suggests how to welcome people into church and faith today, and how to plan for a mixed in-person-online church future. Lockdown and online give us a unique opportunity to re-think and re-grow our churches.
Things to consider would be:
1. Are you able to film without focusing on the congregation - could it be that the minister is still the person who is on screen all the time or most of the time with images for reflection and inspiration being on when other things are happening?
2. If other people are going to be involved in reading the Bible or leading prayers, have they been made aware of the filming of the service and have they agreed to being filmed - if they don't agree to being filmed how would you manage that?.
3. If you have a worship group playing (even though at present there is no congregational singing) are they going to be shown - if so have you got consent from them to film them in action - how do you manage this if one of the band does not want to be filmed?
4. If you have any under 18's involved in the worship band then have you got parental consent to film them? What happens if you don't have consent for the filming - does that mean that they cannot be in the group?
5. If you are planning to show the congregation on the live stream have you told people about this? Do you have a space where people can sit who do not wish to be on screen - there could be really valid reasons for this. What is gained from having the congregation on the screen rather than focusing on the front of church?
It feels important that just as with a 'normal' service we try to create a space where people are not excluded from being present in person in a service because they do not want to be filmed or where for safety reasons they can not be shown in any live stream or recorded service.
There are a few basic things needed to be legal if you are streaming music. In addition to having a CCLI licence (which you need to complete as normal) you will need:
These licences only cover performances by your own church music group. It is not legal to use music performed by other musicians unless you have specific permission to do so.
YouTube clips can be used if they are marked (found under more info) ‘creative commons attribution licence (reuse allowed)’.
For example this Christian music group
allows churches to use their performances:
Another helpful resource here is
More information can be found at:
There are several other solutions that manage streams to a chosen platform for example StreamYard and copyright applies in the same way.
CCLI streaming is about £56 pa and PRS LOML about £73 pa
The use of images also has copyright considerations as does the sharing of videos and any material which you are not the owner of.
Hardware and setup information
The magic box (ATEM mini pro) https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/uk/products/atemmini
Link to Ben Stacey's website https://pluggedin-av.co.uk/product/blackmagic-design-atem-mini-pro/
Further tips and advice on his YouTube channel