online services

During the coronavirus crisis, the Wykeham Benefice is coming together most Sundays for an online service. We are running this using the Zoom web-conferencing system, which has the advantage over live-streaming of allowing some degree of participation by the congregation.

You can join the service from any computing device, such as a desktop, laptop, iPad, tablet or smartphone. You may also join in using an ordinary telephone (sound only).

To help you decide how best to join the service and get the most from it, here is more information about

  • registering your interest
  • installing and using the Zoom app
  • joining by telephone only
  • joining by web browser
  • service etiquette and privacy
  • getting help and testing your connection.

Registering your interest

We don't publish the Zoom meeting link or ID here as it could allow unwelcome intruders to disrupt the service. The relevant details are emailed to the congregation a day or two before the service.

If you are not already receiving emailed invitations from Rev Neil Bowler, please email him at and ask to be added to the mailing list.

Installing the Zoom app

The word "zoom" is used in the names of several different apps in online market places, so the surest way of installing the right one is to visit the meeting link provided in the email message that invited you to the service. This will take you through the installation steps if it finds that the app is missing. It may require you to give permission for the app to be installed, and also to use your camera and microphone. It will probably finish by telling you that it is "waiting for the host to start this meeting". This will be as far as you can get until about half an hour before the service is scheduled to start.

You may also download the app (Zoom Client for Meetings) in advance of the service via the Zoom website at

If you are looking in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, the app you need is Zoom Cloud Meetings, with this icon .

Zoom may invite you to sign in or register as a user ("sign up"). There is no need to do this. You can join our services without being a registered Zoom user.

Using the Zoom app

You may join the service meeting from about half an hour before the service is scheduled to start. Either follow the meeting link or start up the Zoom app. Then:

  • enter the Meeting ID and password provided in the emailed service invitation
  • check that your name is shown how you want it
  • check that the "join options" of audio and video on / off are set how you want
  • click through the "Join" buttons
  • if audio is not working, look at the symbol in the bottom left of the screen
    • if it looks like a microphone with a red line throught it then you are muted; clicking/touching it should unmute you
    • if it looks like a pair of headphones labelled "Join Audio", click/touch it and then click/touch "Call Over Internet" or "Join with Computer Audio"
    • If none of this works, you could try dialling in via an ordinary telephone, as described below.

You can turn audio / video off and on, or change your displayed name, during the meeting.

There is no need to "Sign up or "Sign in".

If you have difficulty with installing the Zoom app, or would rather not install it, you may still take part in the service, either via an ordinary phone or a web browser - see below.

Joining by telephone only

On any phone (landline or mobile), dial one of the following numbers:

0131 460 1196
0203 051 2874
0203 481 5237
0203 481 5240

You will be asked to enter the Meeting ID on the phone keypad, and then a password (both are given in the emailed service invitation), and then a Participant ID. If you don't have a Participant ID (the usual case), just key "#".

Users who have the Zoom app will see the rest of the congregation as a gallery of named video images. Phone callers are shown as a blank square with the phone number they called from. If you would rather your phone number not be seen, dial "141" before the Zoom number.

If you want to listen to the service but not be heard at all, use the Secrecy or Mute button on your phone if it has one. Alternatively, key *6 on the phone keypad. This will mute your sound to the meeting; key *6 again to turn it back on.

You will be paying for the phone call. It may be free if you have signed up for a calling plan with your phone provider, but note that some calling plans charge you for the whole call if it lasts more than an hour or so. You may want to hang up and dial in again before that time is up. (Check your plan for the time limit first!)

Joining by web browser

Another way of joining the service if you have trouble installing the app, or don't wish to, is via the web browser on your computing device. Chrome and Edge are preferred, but Safari and Firefox should also work. The advantage of this method over telephone-only is that you will be able to see the proceedings and the congregation, although nobody will be able to see you.

To join the service in the browser, visit the meeting link. You will see the invitation to "download from Zoom", but below that it should offer you the option to "Join from Your Browser". Following that you should be asked to input your name and then be taken to the meeting.

Zoom's own explanation of all this is at

Service etiquette and privacy

We open the Zoom meeting about 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the service, giving people time to greet and chat as they normally would when attending church.

We have found that allowing the congregation to join in audibly for hymns or lengthy responses and prayers results in an unsynchronised cacophony, so the meeting host will mute all microphones at the start of the service, but unmute them for short prayer responses, The Peace, and The Dismissal.

Try to avoid any background noise during the short unmuted periods. If necessary, use the mute button that you should find at the bottom left of your screen (you may need to touch the screen to reveal it).

For increased privacy, you can also Stop video so that you can't be seen. This is a good idea if you intend to carry on scoffing your tea during the service.

Whether your video is stopped or not, the congregation will see your name on their screen. For increased privacy, you could omit your surname. Zoom will give you the chance to input a name when you join the meeting; you may change it during the meeting via the "Security" button.

There is nothing to stop you from making a photograph of your screen, showing the images and names of members of the congregation. But please regard this as an invasion of their privacy, and don't do it.

In general, Zoom meetings can be recorded but our services have this feature disabled. However, this doesn't stop a technically savvy person using other methods to record the service. Please don't.

Getting help and testing your connection

If you need further help with installing Zoom, or have queries, please get in touch. For example we could run a short Zoom meeting just to test your connection. Contact me, Zoom Verger Tim Huckvale, on 01295 780 491 or by email