This week I saw Mark Strong in A View From The Bridge at the Forum Cinema in Hexham, from the National Theatre Live. It was being streamed from the theatre in London, all the way to the screen in Hexham. This was in fact a second showing, the first having sold out, and this one was pretty full too.
Did I believe I was in the theatre in London? No, it was better than that – I thought I was in a sweltering tenement in Brooklyn. When I came out I was surprised I wasn’t still gripping on to the chair arms.
Going to the cinema in Hexham was a lot easier, and a lot cheaper than going to the West End. It allowed me to access a top quality event I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
I wonder whether there is a lesson for churches here?
A few years ago, we tried an experiment of sending DVDs of sermons to chapels when we didn’t have enough preachers. It wasn’t popular, because people said they preferred to have a live preacher. Yet with limited resources and modern technology is the future of preaching top quality sermons beamed from a central base, as many mega-churches do? What do you think?
PS Just one more point – at the end of the drama, the audience in Hexham burst into a spontaneous round of applause……