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International Survey on Impact of COVID-19 on Churches

The following has been provided by Whitley College on behalf of the International Ecumenical Project

We live in a challenging time and most of us have been challenged by the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is in this time that I have been working on a project with other international partners to understand the ways in which churches deal with the digital realities. How do we as churches relate to the new intensified online work? Questions regarding the practices in times of Corona have led to the propject called CONTOC: Churches Online in Times of Corona.

The CONTOC research project aims at an empirical, representative survey of the development and implementation of especially digital church practices and programs under the conditions of COVID-19, especially in the period from March to June 2020, i.e. from Easter to Pentecost 2020. Our study covers 22 countries on 5 continents, making it a unique research opportunity.

As pastors and churches, you have been working in the “special situation” of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last few months under very different conditions. A lot of creativity was released in the process. Especially with regard to digital services many new innovative ways have been developed: Worship services have been streamed, pastoral care talks have been held via messenger services or on the telephone, video conferences have been held and volunteers have been placed via social media for neighbourly help. Many people are happy and grateful for the many efforts that have been made.
We as academic institutions mostly from Practical Theology like to find out and analyze what can be learned from these experiences for future church work.

With the international and ecumenical research project CONTOC (“Churches Online in Times of Corona”) we want to contribute to answering these questions. We have developed an online questionnaire for this purpose.

Of course we know that many of you are currently under great strain in your workload and probably also in your private life. We would be all the more grateful if you would support the further development of the church with the learning experiences of these difficult times.

This link will take you directly to the survey (in english):

We kindly ask you to take about 30 minutes to complete the online questionnaire. The data will be stored and processed anonymously in accordance with the applicable data protection regulations. We have also made sure that the required ethics clearance was obtained through the HREC-committee of the University of Divinity (Melbourne). As one of the main participating researchers I represent Whitley College’s participation in this important project. The Australian data will be analyzed separately and will give us hopefully some good insights for future work.

Further information on the CONTOC study can be found at: www.contoc.org

I would appreciate your participation! The online survey will be open until July 15.