2020 has been a year of challenges for us all and one detrimental effect of Covid 19 has meant many of us have been forced to drop our normal social activities.  From going to the cinema, to wedding receptions and parties, life has been tough for many under lock-down.

One casualty of the pandemic has been the suspension of church services.  This has led to members of the community feeling vulnerable and isolated, without the comfort of their regular Sunday worship.

Even before lock-down, we were in conversation with Peter Moody, who is a member of the Methodist Church.  Peter, as a telecoms professional with many years of experience, knows exactly how technology can bring people together.

The plan with Westend Wi-Fi, was to install a sensor and gateway into Fareham Methodist Church, using 4G & LoRaWAN   This would enable the church to live-stream services out to members of the church who were unable to physically attend church, to ensure they remained connected to their communities.

LoRaWAN proved to be the ideal solution to enable the church to reach out to its members ensuring that they are safe at home.  It is low power which means it can run on battery power for a very long time.

The technology is also capable of wide area coverage whilst offering high levels of security for data.  The installation has proved to be a boon during the second lock-down with all places of worship forced to close, under government rules.

It has meant that members of Fareham and Stubbington Methodist churches have been able to join in hymns, prayers and readings, all from the comfort of their own home.  Afterwards, a video recording of the Sunday service, is placed on Fareham’s website, so if you missed the service, you can catch-up.

We hope to install more LoRaWAN gateways in Methodist churches, as these will ultimately provide many benefits to the community.