It’s been a busy week as we get ready for Holy Week. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

The Passion

The tech team helped record and edit together the annual dramatic reading of the Passion, with the talents of Whitkirk Arts Guild.

A new clock

Although the tech desk at the back of the church has a radio-controlled clock, the vestry (where people like the clergy and servers get ready for the service) at the front of the church only had one clock. Matthew has spoken about this clock in one of our Midweek Musings, and although it’s a beautiful timepiece it’s tucked in a corner, hard to read at a glance, and doesn’t keep great time.

To fix this we swapped a thermometer that was hanging above the sink for a large digital clock. It’s radio-controlled (like the one on the tech desk) so we never have to worry about it being fast or slow, or adjusting it for daylight savings. It tells us the date, which is always useful when filling out paperwork. It even tells us the temperature so we don’t need to struggle to read a mercury thermometer any more.

A digital clock mounted to a wall, displaying the date, day of the week, time and temperature.
Yes, that is a brisk 14.6ÂșC there. We didn’t want to heat the whole church up just to hang a clock.

It’s tempting to think of technology in terms of shiny new equipment, large projects or lots of complex work, but most of what we’re thinking about is how these kinds of small improvements can make people’s lives easier.

Microphones everywhere

We recorded most of the singing for prerecorded services during Holy Week, using a new microphone setup to help us better refine the balance between organ and chorister.

Alongside this we’ve been looking at some of the new microphones we might deploy to replace our current microphones-on-stands solution to picking up the organ and the choir. At Whitkirk the position of the organ with the choir stalls in front and below of it makes for some tricky design work to best isolate the two pieces of sound, so we’re still thinking hard about some nitty-gritty of microphone types and positions.

Internet woes

We’re investigating why the internet in church isn’t as reliable as we would like, following some unwanted buffering on Sunday.

Snappier service pages

We tidied up some code on our list of services, so it now loads far faster by not showing videos for older services. We also improved the smarts around which links it shows to things like the video, orders of service and so-on.