UKunitarianTV is a webcasting facility set up to promote Unitarianism in the UK.
It provides a loop of about 3 hours of material which is changed each month. There is a video on demand service and a planned schedule of live services for 2013.
The material shown on the loops is a mix of what is available, and that we have copyright permission to use. Some comes from congregations already creating podcasts, others are videos created by volunteers for conferences. There is also material created by the NUF and the DUWIT team at Hucklow, usually at UCCN weekends.
The objective of the service is to help make Unitarian related material more readably available. There are many congregations who do not meet very week and this channel will provide their congregation with more opportunities for regular worship. We have many people who are not able to travel, or those who would travel if there more opportunities to meet. This service aims to help keep them involved with the Unitarian community. We feel that it will provide a 'risk free' way that people can see what a Unitarian service is like without the need to enter a church – something very scary for many people. In this way we consider this facility one that will help growth.
UKUnitarianTV uses a facility offered by a company called Livestream. They offer both a free and a paid service. We are currently using the free service which is why a 30 second advert is shown before the start of the Unitarian material. If funding allows, we could move to a higher quality service without advertisements, but we are not at this point currently.
The service is run by volunteers and has no formal link with the General Assembly. Currently there are three technical teams being setup and a committee is being formed make any decisions and discuss any requests or concerns raised. The committee will define policy and guidelines.
There are a number of ways to get involved with this project.
If you or your congregation create audio or video material that you feel would be interesting to Unitarians please do consider submitting it. Please remember that commercial music cannot be used unless you have permission to use it. We can even use PowerPoint files.
If your congregation struggles to find worship leaders, you might want to consider watching a streamed live service once a month. Many other denominations do this and then discuss it as a group over coffee. You will need an internet connection at your place of worship and a projector system - please do contact us if you require advice on this.
You could get involved by helping to create a team to film services. The amount of equipment required is not great and we do have some funding. Currently we are helping to setup 3 teams in the Manchester area, Derbyshire and Sussex. The aim is to have 5 so we can broadcast a service from many different areas of the country each week. The next UCCN weekend will include a training session on how to webcast.
If you are a web master of a Unitarian website, please consider adding a page showing the channel. Please see www.ukunitarians.org.uk/ditchling/tv.php as an example. We have a facility where news about this channel will be populated to all these web pages automatically. Do contact us for the code you will need to embed in your site.