Today I have been to a funeral – both a very sad occasion but also a wonderful celebration of a life well lived and surrounded by much love from a wide and extensive family and community.
I did wonder whilst sitting quietly in the Church which was full of people, how people who are only connected through online means would be able to participate in such a celebration of life. Is this one instance where the virtual simply cannot effectively replace the face-to-face?
Just last week someone said to me that within the next five or ten years, the Church of Engand would cease to exist. Evidently it is in such financial straits that it might have to ‘close down’. So what would this mean? Would a virtual ‘limited cost’ Church take it’s place?
To what extent can the virtual replace the face-to-face? Is there a line beyond which we would not be prepared to go or beyond which the experience would lose meaning without the face-to-face contact.
I am pleased that I was physically present, sitting in the Church today and seeing my friend and her family in person as they struggled with their grief but also celebrated the life of their loved one.