German church holds drive-in service
Several hundred Christians in the German city of Dusseldorf have been able to attend a Good Friday church service despite the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to a drive-in cinema.
About 400 cars parked in the cinema car park during the service, which worshippers were able to follow via their car radios, the cinema operator said.
The ecumenical service was jointly led by both a Protestant and Catholic member of the clergy who stood together on a stage.
Some visitors brought their convertibles out in the sun, others opened their sunroofs.
Tickets, which were available for free online ahead of the event, were to be scanned through car windows to reduce the risk of infection, organizers said ahead of the event.
The Good Friday joint service will be followed by a Catholic Mass on Easter Sunday and a Protestant service on Easter Monday, a spokesman for the organizers told DPA. The initiative has been co-ordinated with city officials.
Easter is the most important Christian holiday, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians are unable to attend Easter services in many churches this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
City Dean Frank Heidkamp told the Bild newspaper ahead of the event that the churches "can in this way be close to people over the Easter holidays".
The drive-in cinema is opening this week to offer people "a distraction and joy" during the coronavirus pandemic and will operate in line with the safety regulations and social distancing rules that Germany has instituted to contain the disease's spread.
"Offerings that allow a form of social togetherness are currently more important than ever," Dusseldorf mayor Thomas Geisel said.
Originally published as German church holds drive-in service