woodlands drive in church

On Sundays, honks replace "Amens" at some churches across America which have started meeting drive-in movie style, where the pulpit could be the back of a trailer. Photo from Woodlands Drive-in Church Facebook page.

It may be a while before we hear the Kallang Roar again. 

But last night at 8pm, people from Jurong to Tampines came to their windows, onto their balconies and rooftops of their homes, clapping, cheering, whistling, whooping and banging pots.

All to show their appreciation for SGUnited efforts involving everyone from healthcare workers to supermarket staff, cleaners to bus drivers, and everyone else keeping our nation safe, well-stocked and well-run during this season of COVID-19. 

#ClapForSGUnited was initiated by British expat Martin Verga, who has lived in Singapore for a decade. He was inspired by #ClapforNHS, which saw millions of Britons giving an ovation to staff of the National Health Service. 

Gathering en masse may be banned for now. But communities around the world are banding together – in creative ways – to uplift as well as to pray and worship together, all while observing social distancing measures:

Parking lot praise and prayer


Pentecostal Summit 2023

Source: Facebook post by @kimberlyjefferson 

Hundreds gathered, staying in their cars, around the Cartersville Medical Center on March 26 to pray for medical staff and patients inside fighting COVID-19. They tuned in to the same radio station for prayer and songs of praise.

Hospital staff, with barely a dry eye, on the rooftop, standing at a respectable distance from each other, were videoed with arms outstretched in worship as the song Way Maker blared. This Circle of Prayer was organised by Camden McGill.

It was one of a number of car park prayers held around hospitals in the state of Georgia. 

Drive-in church

Woodland Drive-In Church in Michigan meet all year round, but are currently closed as a precaution. Photo from their Facebook page.

On Sundays, honks replace “Amens” and clapping at some churches across America who have started meeting drive-in movie style, where the pulpit could be the back of a trailer.

Members of the congregation, in their respective cars, tune in to their radios to hear their pastors preach. Some gather at drive-in theatres that are currently not allowed to hold movie screenings, but have opened their lots to them.

However, at least one state has come out to warn that such social gatherings should limited to 10 or fewer, and people should keep 6ft apart from each other.

Order Church takeaway

Screenshot of Portobello Priest Pat Allerton who takes Amazing Grace to the streets in London. Photo from Watson Emma’s Facebook page.

If people can’t come to church, then the church will go to the people. So says Pat Allerton, known on Instagram as the Portobello Priest.

The Vicar of St Peter’s Notting Hill has been delivering “church takeaway” at the invitation of London residents. He sets up a mike connected to speakers, inviting “a captive audience” to join him in a singalong of “Amazing Grace” followed by The Lord’s Prayer.

Virtual cellphone choir

Cellphone choir

The Nashville Studio Singers Community Virtual Cellphone Choir singing It is Well with my Soul. Screenshot from YouTube video @Ten Two Six Music Group

Using their mobile phones from their homes, 31 singers from the Nashville Studio Singer Community in Tennessee recorded their choral rendition of “It is Well with my Soul” to share a message of hope and encouragement during these challenging days of COVID-19. 

Let’s unite in prayer every day at noon (12pm): LoveSingapore kicks off PraySingapore@12

The art of living together


About the author

Gemma Koh

Gemma has written about everything from spas to scuba diving holidays. But has a soft spot for telling the stories of lives changed, and of people making a difference. She loves the colour green, especially on overgrown trees. Gemma is Senior Writer & Copy Editor at Salt&Light.