Roman Catholic Parishes of:



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St Marys Chapel House


PH39 4NH


Chapel House



PH40 4PB

Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
Protocol for LIVE STREAMING in Catholic Churches

Live streaming is increasingly being used to broadcast Mass, it can provide a valuable service to those unable to attend and can also be used to broadcast funerals, weddings and baptisms. NB: Live streaming is provided at the discretion of a parish and is not obligatory.
This policy applies to all forms of live streaming and online audio-visual publication relating to Mass, other worship gatherings/services, and other events which transmit or record what is happening in church.
Cameras should be unobtrusive and discreet. Aesthetics and the potential to distract should be considered. Cameras should focus on the sanctuary area and should not show people processing to Communion or entering and leaving the church. A fixed position is better than one which pans across a congregation.
Live streaming, transfers to third parties ‘sensitive personal data’ - ie images of people attending Mass. Congregations must be informed that live streaming is taking place. A copy of the Live Streaming Advice Notice should be displayed at the entrance to the church. Priests may include a welcome to those who are viewing ‘online’. Parishioners should be able to attend Mass and receive Communion without being live streamed and should be reassured of this. The option of a non-broadcast Sunday Mass may be appropriate.
RESPECTING THE WISHES OF THOSE WITH MINISTRIES Readers, Servers, Cantors, Choirs and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
should be informed about live streaming. Consideration should be given to those who do not wish to be live streamed and opportunities provided for them to continue in their ministries appropriately.
Without prior consent, there should be no filming of children or vulnerable adults or adults at risk. Without prior parental consent, if a child enters an area in view of the camera then the camera should be switched off until the child leaves the area in view. Consideration needs to be given as to whether the deliberate or accidental disclosure of information (eg images) may put a person at risk of harm. This could apply to
• victims of domestic abuse or violence
• children subject to legal protection measures
• children who are being ‘searched for’ by others
• children who are adopted, fostered or placed with families by social work services
• convicted sex offenders attending church (who may be at risk of harm if recognised)
There may be occasions when it is necessary to stop live streaming (eg if someone is taken ill during Mass) and this must always be immediately possible.
NB: Live streaming is not exempt from copyright licensing.
Copyright licences from One License and CCLI are already held by parishes where hymn words and music are reprinted in bulletins or orders of service.
If a parish wishes to host on a website or any social media channel a live stream that includes music an additional streaming licence is also required by law.
It is against the law to reprint lyrics and music and to live stream words and music (unless the words and music are in the public domain).
You can read more about and purchase streaming licences at and at
Regular reports of music used must be returned to the licence regulator so that the individual composers can justly receive the royalties.
NB: A streaming license permits the live streaming of music being played and sung live in the church by musicians, or pre-recorded music by parish musicians. A streaming licence does not permit the live streaming of commercially published music from mp3 files or CDs. Permission must be sought from the copyright holder of the music to legally live stream their intellectual property.
Parish musicians should be asked to confirm that they are willing to waive any performing rights.
Pictures and videos: If you publish (either on paper, using a projector or on a video) any images that you did not take yourself it is likely that they will be copyright and you will need a licence/permission to use it. Just because images can be found online does not mean that they are free to use on live stream broadcasts.
December 2020


Things of day

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.

Leo Buscaglia

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