Setting up Zoom to live-stream the service or meet people
If you've never used Zoom before, you'll need to set it up before streaming the service or meeting others over Zoom.
You'll need a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone connected to the internet. It must be able to show video and sound. For others to see and hear you, it must have a camera and microphone.
1. Installing Zoom
Tap the "Set up Zoom" button.
You will be prompted to download and install the Zoom app.
Follow the prompts to install Zoom.
2. Joining a Zoom meeting
To join a Zoom meeting, you will need the link from the host or the Meeting ID (and password if set).
For St Alban's services, you can join from the St Alban's website homepage.
- You may be prompted to allow Zoom to access your camera and microphone. Allow both.
- You will be shown a video preview. To see the video of the service, you must choose Join with Video.
- You may see a notice saying that the meeting host will let you in soon. Just wait until you are let into the meeting.
- Zoom will also prompt you to join with audio. You must join with audio to hear the service. Choose to Call Using Internet Audio.
3. During a service
For the services, you will be muted (no one will be able to hear you) unless you are unmuted by the meeting host.
If you have shared your video, people will be able to see you. We encourage you to keep video on if possible, so that we can all see each other and be a church community together.
There have been news reports about people "Zoom-bombing" Zoom meetings: turning up in meeting they have not been invited to and causing problems. This is because many Zoom meeting hosts have not set up their meetings in a secure way.
Our security settings
St Alban's meetings have always been secured with the following:
- The Waiting Room is enabled. This means that no one can join the meeting on their own. Everyone must be allowed into the meeting by the meeting host.
- Screen-sharing is off apart from the host. Nobody can share content from their screen apart from the meeting host.
- File transfers are disabled. No one can send you malicious files.
- Chat is enabled only with the host. No one can send messages to individuals or to the whole group except the meeting host.
- Participants are muted by default, and are unable to unmute themselves. Nobody can can enter the meeting and start talking and so take over the meeting. Only the meeting host can unmute someone.
- For non-public meetings, passwords are set. That means the meeting ID can't be guessed. For public meetings, the link is made publicly available, so it doesn't matter if the password is enabled or not.
- For some meetings, we have also required registration. This means that attendees must fill in their contact information before joining the meeting.
- Our meetings are set to not route through servers in China.
Our security capabilities
During the service the meeting host:
- Uses the Spotlight capability to focus only on the church camera or those performing some other part of the service from their home (e.g. Bible readings). This means that the primary picture that attendees see is controlled by the meeting host. No one else can take over this primary view.
In addition, the meeting host can:
- Hide the video stream of any attendee. If anyone deliberately or accidentally shows something not suitable for the meeting, we can hide it and the attendee can not turn on their video again until we enable it.
- Remove attendees from the meeting. Lock the meeting so that no one else can join.
Why are we showing the Meeting ID on the website?
St Alban's is a church that offers services that are open to the public. We want to welcome anyone to our services who wants to join us.
As with any public meeting, including normal church services in-person, there is of course some risk that someone will turn up and do something disruptive. Our security has been set so that this is unlikely to happen, and if it does our settings mean the impact will be low and can be dealt with easily.
Can we be Zoom-bombed? (That is, can people turn up in our meeting and disrupt the meeting?)
No. The hosts have full control over who enters the meeting. Everyone who enters is muted and unable to unmute themselves. The church camera is Spotlighted, so the main screen will always be on the service. Nobody is able to take control of the meeting unless they are the meeting host.
Could someone do something not suitable for a public meeting on camera?
As with any video-conferencing platform, yes, that's possible, but:
- Most people won't see it, because the person cannot take over the main screen.
- Nobody will hear them because they will be muted and unable to unmute themselves.
- The meeting hosts are able to turn off their video so they can't turn it back on, remove them from the meeting, and lock the meeting so that they cannot reenter.