STAFF at a village church have revealed how they have embraced digital technology during lockdown.

Like other places of worship across the UK, St James the Great Church in Daisy Hill, was forced to close its doors to visitors for most of the year.

But after participating in Heritage Open Days since 2017, the Grade II listed building found a way to uncover more of the church's history.

Glenys Latham, deputy churchwarden, St James the Great, said: "Heritage Open Days help you to focus on delivering projects and also to delve into your church’s history and heritage. During the four years we have been involved it has gone from a weekend to ten days because the interest is growing.

"When Covid-19 arrived we thought we were scuppered, but then in June, the Heritage Open Day team decided to go ahead with an online option. As the editor of the church’s A Church Near You (ACNY) web pages, I had started to use that website for communication and I thought I could use it as our online platform.

"I had also discovered a website called, where, if you join, you can upload a photograph and it makes it into a digital jigsaw. We already had a superb collections of church photos on our computers which I could turn those into jigsaws."

The church also decided to widen its presence on social media.

"This year going totally online increased our skills in using technology and will be helpful in the future," added Glenys. "The Heritage Open Days team also encouraged us to join Twitter, so I now interact with other organisations and even our Diocese has retweeted us.

"We had well over 2,000 extra visits to the church’s page on the ACNY website during the ten Open Days and we’ve had about 300 to 500 regular visits a week throughout lockdown."