We’ve been working with Guildford Anglican Church to improve their audio visual system. However, instead of us rabbiting on about what we did with them, we asked Chris Booth, the Assistant Minister out at Guildford, to run you through the process. This is what he had to say:
We contacted OBT mid-2016 after assessing some of the major issues we were dealing with at church every Sunday. Our services were held up by a technological infrastructure that was the best we could muster by ourselves. By no means was it an ideal situation; we dealt with a convoluted set up where nothing appeared to function well with the other parts of the setup. We were thankful for the many years of service that our projector and lighting gave us, but the lights were very bright and would wash out the weak signal from the weak projector. Our confidence monitor was very small, meaning that the text on the screen needed to be large for the singers to be able to read lyrics and it was all connected via an old VGA splitter to a restored laptop. Add in a lot of tangled wires, and we were in some trouble.
It was clear that we needed to have more than new equipment: we needed a system that worked as a unit. Our desire for any upgrades to the system was to make Sunday services clearer (both in sight and sound), and remove distractions from our meetings.
On contacting OBT, Nick and the team were not only quick to respond but were effective in offering solutions that suited, not just an upgrade to existing equipment, but the new demands we wanted our AV setup to be able to handle. It is difficult to remember all the ways in which OBT helped improve our setup, but here is the general rundown:
1) Installation of a new rack to house amps and sound equipment on stage while also decluttering much of the audio cabling that had been set up by use of stage boxes and other clever techy ways.
2) Relocation of the sound desk to the rear of the church.
3) Installation of a lectern microphone and re-running of cables through the church to prevent trip hazards.
4) Installation of a new HDMI projector so that our service text and graphics would be displayed in a clear manner with no washout or blurriness.
5) Installation of new lights to enable coloured wash on the stage and set up the lights to maximise stage lighting while minimising washing out the projector. Being able to control these lights from the computer at the back is a real bonus as well! The previous set up simply had the settings ‘off’ or ‘burn your face off’ – Having some ability to control how bright things are on stage and the tone of the service aids in focusing the congregation and the pastor.
6) Installation of a larger confidence monitor (stage facing screen) for the preacher and singers and a new monitor at the rear of church so that those seated at the back can see what is on the screen easily. This increases our flexibility with our space by enabling us to only use the back of church if we only need to use a small space. This simply wasn’t possible before.
7) We have moved to Proclaim as the presentation software of choice, and it is fairly reliant on a solid connection to the internet. OBT hardwired a router from the sound desk to the modem (which is in a different room), hard wired the computer (which OBT sourced for us) and sound desk to this router and also installed a wifi booster so that we can wirelessly use things like remotes and tablets through the computer with confidence.
The truth is that they probably did some other things to turn our hodge-podge set-up into a coherent system. Now we have a central control point (the computer at the sound desk) that can control the lights, projector, and sound which effectively and efficiently ensures that our meetings work seamlessly. The clarity of the sound and visual set-up hasn’t improved the content of our sermons (that is up to us!), but it has meant that we can easily and clearly do things like displaying the Bible text on the screen (in multiple languages), and show videos in a way that no one in church has a disadvantaged view of the sight or sound. It gives us confidence that the projector won’t blow up mid-service and that the whole of church can see the lyrics. It has provided a much need boost to how we present to everyone on a Sunday and has enabled us to easily upload sermons straight after the service to connect anyone who was absent.
We really value our relationship OBT because it is just that—a relationship. They listen to our challenges and desires and help manufacture solutions that don’t break the bank and can be implemented in a relatively short space of time. In all honesty, they have helped us see why things were not working well and implemented professional solutions so that we no longer have lingering problems. Since the AV set up, we have continued our relationship with OBT by asking them to come out for sound training, advice on further developments, Elvanto training (without this training we would be in serious administrative trouble), graphic design for our current church logo and a new youth logo and we are excited to continue to work with them to reboot our website. The advantage of our relationship with OBT is that they are like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ, who know us well, and importantly have the shared core motivation to make his Gospel known to the nations.
To see their handy-work first hand, come out to Guildford Anglican on a Sunday at 8 am, 10 am or 6 pm. We will look to direct you to our website when OBT are done with that job.
Chris Booth – Assistant Minister, Guildford Anglican Church
Many thanks to Chris for his lovely words, and, excitingly, we can announce that the new website is now live! You can visit it at guildfordanglican.org.au.