Fr Padraig Hawkins was planning to live stream Masses from Our Lady of the Annunciation for the benefit of parishioners. David Crawford, who is in charge of rotas for taking communion to the housebound, learned about the project.
“It occurred to me,” he said, “to email the Eucharistic Ministers with a view to their using connections with care homes to explore the feasibility of streaming Mass into these. Mary Stebbings, who takes communion into our local care home, Cresta Lodge, responded.”
Mary liaised with the management, who agreed to the idea, and the first of a regular series of transmissions was made of the 9am Mass on Sunday May 17. Fr Padraig bought a combined audio and video recorder, which could stand on the floor or a on table in front of the altar. The cost of the equipment was met by donations.
Streaming was initially into a section of a communal area. The only equipment needed was a spare computer and monitor placed on a table within a resident’s sight and hearing; sound was adjusted to suit. Following the initial success, the care home has subsequently been trying to arrange within-room availability.
Mary Stebbings said of one resident: “This will be so good for her, as she is recovering from the virus and her memory has deteriorated.”
A carer commented that a resident she works with “very much enjoyed” the experience and thought it was “a very good idea, particularly as she may not be able to get out to Mass in the future”.
“I see this as a very warm and welcoming response from Cresta Lodge,” said David Crawford, “fully acknowledging the therapeutic value of religious practice.”
Pictured above is Cresta Lodge (top), and Mary Stebbings (right)