It might not be challenging the likes of Serial for listens just yet, but a Lanarkshire minister is hoping to spread his church's message through podcasts.

Rev. Neil Watson, of Stonelaw Parish Church, is uploading his 25 minutes sermons every week.

Neil, who took over at the Rutherglen church earlier this year, is optimistic the recordings can reach a new audience and benefit the church and its congregation as life with COVID continues.

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He told Lanarkshire Live: "During COVID, churches have embraced technology in a way they hadn't done before.

"It has been opened up in a way that maybe wasn't quite there before and that's why I was keen to look at doing the podcasts.

"Some people might not have the time or energy to sit through a whole service, but they might be interested enough to have a 20 minute sermon while they're on the bus.

"It's great that people can access Christianity in a variety of ways now, and maybe they'll listen to a bit and decide they'll come and join us one Sunday in the future."

Capacity at Stonelaw is currently capped at 70, with services also broadcast via Zoom every Sunday.

Although numbers should expand in the coming weeks, Neil believes it is vital the church continues to explore new ways of finding a new audience.

He added: "I know myself, in my teens and early 20s when I was considering going to church again, that it's a big step to go through those doors, as you do not know what you will find there.

"There are better preachers out there than me, and better podcasts, but there is something special about a speaker who can connect with someone and hopefully we can do that with this."

Now Neil, who's a keen fan of audio books and sports podcasts, is hoping to expand the podcast in future, too.

"I'm looking at other ideas for later on, such as doing interviews with people in the congregation as there are plenty of people in the church with interesting stories to tell."

The Stonelaw sermons can be found by searching for Stonelaw Church on the likes of Apple Podcast, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and Podbean.

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