Information for participants

This research has been approved by the School of Arts, University of Otago (Reference Number D20/354) and the Adelaide College of Divinity Human Research Ethics Committee.
Thank you for showing an interest in this project.  Please read this information carefully before deciding whether or not to participate.  If you decide to participate we thank you.  If you decide not to take part there will be no disadvantage to you and we thank you for considering the request.      

What is the aim of the project?
This project explores how congregations and churches responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during the Lockdowns. It is part of a wider project (to be continued in 2021), exploring how faith communities worked to support and enhance holistic wellbeing during COVID-19.

This first phase of the research explores how churches and congregations adapted their worship, mission and ministry practices during the Lockdowns; what motivated those responses; and the extent to which they have continued these new or adapted practices post-lockdown(s).

What participants are being sought?
Ministers/faith community leaders from churches and congregations in New Zealand, Australia (and elsewhere) are invited to participate.

What will participants be asked to do?
You are invited to complete this online questionnaire. Depending on your responses, it might take around 30 minutes to complete. Please be aware that you may decide not to take part in the project without any disadvantage to yourself.

What data or information will be collected and what use will be made of it?
The questionnaire explores how your church or congregation responded to restrictions resulting from COVID-19. It investigates how your worship, pastoral care and community ministries were impacted; how you decided what adaptations to make; and what (if any) practices have been retained post-lockdown. You are also invited to provide links to service recordings, or other materials that illustrate the actions that you took. Demographic information on your church or congregation will be gathered for comparative purposes and in order to contextualise your data.

You are invited to provide your contact details if you are willing to be interviewed as part of a second phase of research and/or if you would like to receive a summary of the findings. This identifying information will be removed before data analysis and responses will be anonymised.

Only the primary researchers (and potentially a research assistant) will have access to your individual responses. The data collected will be securely stored and retained for at least 5 years in secure storage. Any contact details held on the participants may be destroyed at the completion of the research even though the data derived from the research will, in most cases, be kept for much longer or possibly indefinitely.

The results of the project will be presented at conferences and may be published. Every attempt will be made to preserve your anonymity. A summary of findings will be available on request and reported via various publications and presentations.