We are all working out how to offer Sunday worship with a dispersed congregation. We are scrambling to try new things, learn new approaches. Some people are anxious about change. Some are relishing new opportunities to connect beyond the congregation.

Pause and remember that the One whom we worship is among us. Remember that the people of God worshiped not only in temples and synagogues but in homes, and while travelling through the wilderness, and in exile. God is still present, and perhaps first and foremost we may remind each other of that.

We encourage you to put a sign outside your church to indicate that you are not closed but are worshiping dispersed or online or whatever.

Resources curated by the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

Resources curated by the SA Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts

Holy Communion

The Assembly Standing Committee distributed the following documents on Friday 3 April

Pastoral letter from Dr Deidre Palmer re online worship with Holy Communion April 2020

Guideline_Online Gathering for Worship with Holy Communion_Ver 2.0


Ideas and Resources for Dispersed Worship

Religious Art
Here is a list of links to religious art that you can legally view and mostly download online.


For computer-generated music, go to Rev Wayne McHugh’s MyMidi website.


You need copyright permission for electronic distribution of text or music that someone else has created.
Why? Because video is electronic reproduction, as is digital recording of music. A song is owned by the author. The author may also have a publisher or a licenser of their work. A recording of a song is owned by whoever made the recording. So there may be up to three parties involved if you have an audio or video recording as well as words on screen.

You cannot stream a Youtube video without the permission of the song publisher.
NOTE: If someone has illegally put a recording on Youtube (without the permission of the publisher), sharing it doesn’t make it legal for you! A recording of a public domain hymn still requires the permission of whoever made the recording for use.

What’s the best way to play music?
Provided that the song is in the public domain or you have a streaming licence, then get someone to play it live or record someone playing it during the week and then play the recording as part of your worship. This way it is your performance and you don’t need to seek third party permission for the recording itself. However you still need performance permission, unless the song is in the public domain. See below for a list of songwriters who have made their music freely available at this time.

Any onscreen music should still contain a statement about copyright permission.

For music you will need a CCLI streaming licence or OneLicense podcast/streaming licence. Both licensing companies are providing discounts during the COVID-19 crisis. Music not covered by them you will need to contact the publisher or author.


NOTE: https://au.ccli.com/streaming-licence-manual/
 “Stream, Streaming – The digital transmission of a Song in such a manner that: a) the audio or visual aspect of the Song is rendered simultaneously with its transmission; and b) such transmission does not result in the creation of a residual or fixed copy of the Song so transmitted and so that the Song so transmitted is not able to be captured, saved, copied, stored or otherwise reproduced, distributed or retransmitted in any manner by any means whatsoever.”

According to CCLI (taken from correspondence)
“The Streaming Licence is designed to legally provide a live stream or a podcast of a church’s worship service. A “Digital” transmission is considered a broadcast. The base requirements for the Streaming Licence is that it(s) –– Requires an active Church Copyright License to reproduce (record) services. (not performances/covers/etc) – Pricing is based on the church attendance, as with the CCL. Sizes must match. (the views do not matter, overseas or otherwise) – Songs must be covered under the CCL.– Live music only; no pre-recorded music, such as an artist or record label recordings sold commercially. – Recorded during the actual church service. Nothing added.** 

** This won’t be on the site because it is only for this time. At this point, with the licence, it would cover however the stream comes together, even with post production in the service, which means prerecording is allowed to a certain extent. It’s more the process at the other end. It’s meant to be a service – so it should follow the usual routine – but if you record the worship at one point and then the message/prayers etc and then do some post-production that’s fine. This would mean that using a clip recorded and used at an earlier date would be okay as long as it is YOUR worship team and it is placed as part of the SERVICE as a whole.

This is all assuming you have a Streaming Licence. Note that for most part this is something in place due to the circumstances. Usually it would be a stream or podcast of the actual service with a congregation and all the elements under one roof and not something of a programme. This may change once everything normalises.”

Free to Use Music and Stories

Craig Mitchell has created a list of songwriters willing for their music to be played online free of charge during this time when congregations cannot meet face to face.

If you want to use a childrens’ book online with pictures you will need the permission of the publisher.

Craig has also created a page which lists childrens’ stories being read online,some of which are free for sharing.