CHURCHES across the city are continuing to keep people worshipping while people self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

With the recent spread of COVID-19, the government announced that people should stay at home unless for essential work, to buy food and essentials, to care for a vulnerable person, or to go outside for one form of exercise a day on Monday.

But that has not stopped churches across the Diocese of Winchester from seeking innovative ways to worship and ensure the most vulnerable are supported in their congregations.

Saint Mary's Church is one of many churches that has taken to social media - such as Facebook and Instagram - to continue engaging with their congregation.

It used their website to live stream their Sunday service - hosted by a married couple - to the church community from the safety of their homes on Mothering Sunday.

Churches in North Stoneham and Bassett are also using the video conference platform Zoom, to keep people in touch with each other during isolation.

Meanwhile, St Mark’s Church in Southampton has aimed to keep people happy and positive.

The church has partnered with community project group Woolston Smile to send out prayers and blessings and collect positive stories from around the community to share.

They will be prayer-walking the streets and giving out flyers to show that through these difficult times, people are listening to their prayers and people care.

The Right Reverend, Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin, said: “We are closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and how this will affect our communities. Although this is a challenging period, it fills me with hope and joy as we find new ways to show love for our neighbours and continue to follow God faithfully. We want people to know that we are here, and we are listening to your prayers, you don’t have to be alone as you isolate in your homes. We are here for you.”

Reverend Jon Finch, from Saint Mary’s Church, said: “As a church we are having to find new ways of staying connected to one another as well as God. We hope the use of technology will provide people with enough contact and keep them safe.

"Following the way of Jesus, we all need to play our part and maintain our faith through these challenging times.”