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The Crown at Great Casterton staged a drive-in church service for parishioners in its car park

Church leaders found a new way to host a community worship without breaking coronavirus restrictions.

Thirty-one cars pulled into a pub car park on Sunday morning to join a drive-in service.

The Rev Don McGarrigle hosted the worship for his parishioners in Great Casterton and the surrounding villages.

Parishioners attended a drive-in church service
Parishioners attended a drive-in church service

The decision came after churches were allowed to reopen for private prayer but not for collective worship.

The Rev McGarrigle said: “A lot of our congregation don’t have access to websites or Zoom, so I wanted to find something to bring people back together as a church community.

“Not everyone could attend but about 90 per cent of those without any electronic communications rolled up in their cars.”

The Rev Don McGarrigle
The Rev Don McGarrigle

Seventy-one people wound down their windows to listen to the service and join in the with the hymns, accompanied by organist Betty Lamb.

Sue Cliffe, a member of the outreach team at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, said: “Having spent weeks in lockdown isolation, it was a pleasure to see other people coming together for a drive-in church service on Sunday morning.

“It was lovely to note that congregation members from each of the benefice churches had come along to the service, not just Great Casterton folk. So well done to everyone from Little Casterton, Pickworth, and Tickencote for coming along.

The landlord of The Crown, Steve Barker, allowed the congregation to meet in the pub car park.

Betty Lamb plays the organ
Betty Lamb plays the organ

Following the success of the event, the team hopes to hold more outdoor services.

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