Easter is being celebrated online by island worshippers for the second year in a row because of coronavirus restrictions.

Church doors are remaining firmly closed to congregations during Holy Week so church leaders have had to adapt to get their messages across.

Every day this week the Lord Bishop Peter Eagles is using full use of new technology to share worship and addresses.

In the ’Bishop’s blog’ on the website of the diocese of Sodor and Man he, said: ’My hope is that many of us will follow these broadcasts every day, giving a shape and structure to Holy Week, and placing our faith at the centre of our lives. In this way, we will live through the events of Holy Week and will then be able to celebrate Easter Day and the resurrection in a way that is more meaningful.

’The services from Monday to Saturday do not have to be watched ’’live’’ at 11am; they will continue to be available throughout the day and indeed throughout the week.’

Rev Dr Michael Brydon, chaplain to the Bishop, said Bishop Peter will livestream a service from the Cathedral at Peel on Easter Day at 9.30am on www.cathedral.im

There would also be worship via Facebook, Zoom and YouTube from the island’s parishes.

He told the Manx Independent: ’All sorts of wonderful things have been going on in parishes. At Arbory and Castletown for instance, they have drawn upon Rosemary Robinson’s paintings of the stations of the cross, specially produced for Arbory Church.

’These have offered moving online images to accompany reflections upon the cross, from the point of view of the centurion who was guarding it.’

Monsignor John Devine, Roman Catholic area dean, said St Mary of the Isle church in Douglas has live streaming equipment on the website manxcatholic.org

He said: ’We’ve had the livestreaming equipment in for more than two years now. It was initially installed well before Covid was even dreamed of.

’Of course it has come into its own with the Covid outbreak and the lockdowns.

’And the irony is that although we have closed the door of the church, our congregation has actually grown. For instance, irrespective of Holy Week, we have a mass each working day at 12.10pm and we have a big following on the eastern seaboard of the United States where it’s five hours behind. People join in before they go to work.’

He added that a lot of people in the island ’build their day’ around watching his livestreamed services.

The island’s Methodist leader, Reverend Richard Hall, said the church has its own YouTube channel and on Easter Sunday a special service will be streamed live on Zoom. Details are at www.methodist.org.im

He said although this particular circuit-breaker lockdown was proving to be hard for many, the use of online resources was helping people to keep their spirits up.