'When the people can't come in, the message must be out'
Ryde Baptist Church in the Isle of Wight has been using its large window to send messages of comfort and hope to passers-by since the start of lockdown
Each week life size scenes from the Bible have been displayed with a poster describing the event and a QR code linking to the relevant passage online.
The first depicted the Last Supper, alongside the words from the Message translation: 'You're all going to feel your world is falling apart.'
The Easter story was then told in chronological order, from the events of Palm Sunday to the coming of the Holy Spirit. The stories have continued to include those which highlight who Jesus is and how everyone is welcome into God's Kingdom.
'When the people can't come in, the message must be out,' said church member Julie Croydon, who has been involved in creating the displays.
She explained, 'With the building shut, the congregation stay in touch via technology, but how could we get the message of God’s love and comfort to those outwith the church? Having a ‘shop window’ enables us to set up life-size displays to attract passers-by.
'A young lad was relaxing on the forecourt as we left last Saturday. He said he had noticed them, and the residents in the residential home opposite the Church love to watch and wave as we do the changeover.'
It's not the only way the church has adapted to share the message of God's love in this period. Members of the church are part of an Open the Book team, the national initiative that brings Bible stories to life in schools. There are six teams across the Isle of Wight, and Julie heads a team that goes into Dover Park Primary School in Ryde every Wednesday.
Unable to go into the school following the lockdown, they have created a series of videos. The team has gathered together in Julie's garden, using social distancing, where Julie films various clips. She subsequently splices them together using iMovie. More recently they've been able to film children in the scenes.
'We've got feedback from the teachers recently, and they said they've been absolutely loving it, and they want more.
'They've enjoyed joining in - one of the things with Open the Book is that it's normally done in the school where we not only dress up some of the children who take part with us, but we also have things written on q cards and get the children to respond. This is something we've been doing with the videos as well.
'That's one of the things the teachers commented on - they enjoyed joining in rather than just watching it.'
See more on the church's Facebook page