And relax…the voice

Author: The Revd Derek McClean

Published on: 16 July 2020

When the lockdown began, I knew it was vital to find ways to try and keep our community together.

One of the things I decided to do was to podcast my sermons. Podcast is a version of radio, but it doesn’t require a licence, and is hosted by a provider. After a little research, I decided upon Anchor ( Anchor is completely free, and there are no limits on how much content you store on it unlike some other providers.

I found that I could record straight onto the Anchor app on my phone, which would then put it in the cloud, and I was able to access it on the website in the account I had created. Unfortunately, I found my normal earbuds gave poor sound quality, so I bought a microphone which connected to my phone for £17.

The website has a fairly straightforward editing area. Most Anchor users agree using the website is the best way to do it. As part of editing it, I used the free music which comes on the website which is royalty/copyright free. This gave me the opportunity to create various sections (intro, prayers, Bible reading and sermon).

Once finished, I can schedule the podcast to go ‘live’ at a time and date of my choosing; usually a Sunday morning.

As part of what they do, Anchor allows me to connect to Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. The only ‘speed bump’ being that Spotify wants 48 hours to check that everything in the podcast is either owned by me or free to use. If I want to connect to other platforms (e.g. iTunes) then the options are there. On the webpage which people see, they can play the episode there or go through to Spotify, and the Facebook link takes them straight to the Church Facebook page. The final place I put a link to Anchor was on A Church Near You.

I use a full script and, once recorded, I email the script to others who may not be able to access the podcast.

There are many ‘how-to’ videos out there, and the Anchor app has a series of episodes on putting a podcast together. The main difficulty is learning to relax your voice. I’m still working on that!

It’s been a fun learning experience, and I may well keep recording my sermons after lockdown is lifted.

One listener, Ken, commented:

“These sermons have been challenging, encouraging and thought-provoking, leading me to a greater awareness of God and to a deeper appreciation of what Christ has done for us. Given that it’s more difficult to be engaged as a mere listener rather than a participant in interactive worship, a preceding hymn and a following pause for responsive prayer round the theme might make one incorporate all the more.”

Another listener, Kate, said:

“It’s been a comfort to be kept in touch in this way. The familiar structure of daily worship and weekly sermons has given us continuity and held us together when it would have been so easy to drift apart.”

You can listen to the podcast at:

The author...

No Image Found

The Revd Derek McClean

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

Age has been no barrier

St Luke’s Church, on Aylsham Road, Norwich has been running both a Sunday morning service and a virtual coffee morning every week since the middle of April, using Zoom.


Supporting those who are housebound

I am Laura and founded YouBelong, an organisation aiming to connect and support people with chronic illness and/or disability through the online community.


Dig down into the scriptures

We have always produced a podcast at STN, predominantly featuring our Sunday talks, as a way for those who wish to engage from a distance or catch up on Sunday.


Receiving donations online has never been more crucial

In the step-by-step article, we look practically at different payment platforms/companies, creating an online giving page on your website, and adding a giving button to A Church Near You.


Light a candle

Lighting a candle can be a helpful way to pray for someone. An online candle will help you think about someone who has died and pray for all those who miss them.


Maintaining youth and children’s work online

In these unprecedented times it is maybe the young who are most able to adapt to the forced use of technology to stay connected.


Anyone for coffee?

One of the many new experiences, in these COVID-19 times, are the proliferation of socially-distant coffee mornings online.


Rich tapestry of church

After a few weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, we realised how much church family members missed seeing each other, so we set up a ‘Church, Coffee and Chat’ for those on our church email list and invited everyone by email.


Supporting our life together despite the financial impact of COVID-19

I want to begin by thanking so many of you – parishioners, PCC members, churchwardens, lay ministers, clergy and others – for the incredible way in which you are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it is having on our local communities.


A long-term solution for live-streaming in church

When the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into force, audio and visual specialist Darren Butler, owner of south Norfolk based Audio Electronic Design (AED), knew straight away that many churches would be facing a big problem.


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter