CHURCHES across Ballarat are continuing to adapt the way services are hosted in line with coronavirus restrictions.
Earlier this week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that up to 10 people would be allowed to gather for a church service or in a church for private prayer from midnight, May 12.
This meant that Sunday church services could be a little more lively than in previous weeks.
At Ballarat Central's Uniting Church, Minister Lauleti Tu'inauvai has been leading virtual services since stage three restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Initially Minister Tu'inauvai led the services from his home office, with people tuning into the service online. But the internet connection was causing some technical issues, so for the last three weeks, Minister Tu'inauvai has led services in the church with five other people. Of these five people, one person played the organ.
"We know more about live streaming now and are continuing to improve so we can keep connecting with our members," he said. "We will continue to do this because spirituality is a very important part of people's lives, especially during this time."
While social distancing is still necessary, with the restrictions lifted slightly to allow for 10 people in the church, a band was able to play during this week's Sunday service.
Before COVID-19, about 120 people would attend the Sunday service each week. This number has not dropped off much despite the move to a virtual service, with Minister Tu'inauvai hosting the service for about 100 viewers this week.
He said not all of the church members knew how to connect to a virtual service, but a concerted effort was being made by other members to maintain a connection.
"We are connecting to keep them connected with us by allocating a few members of our church to contact them every week to make sure they are alright and see if they need anything to be supported with," he said.
Minister Tu'inauvai will continue live streaming, even when larger services can resume, for those who are immunocompromised.