An image of New Hope Baptist Church

New Hope Baptist Church innovates with interactive displays and managed print services.

New Hope Baptist Church strives to bring religion and worship into the 21st century. Having recently renovated the church building with a present-day feel, Church Minister Paul Westwood wanted to introduce technologies to both streamline processes, and empower people that attended the church’s charity courses to be able to collaborate and work together. Sharp’s consultative approach identified the church’s exact requirements, and upscaled engagement and quality, and increased uptime and functionality by installing an interactive Sharp BIG PAD and innovative multifunction photocopier.

An Interactive Display being used at New Hope Baptist Church

Lack of modern, interactive technology

Historically churches strive to operate using as little money as possible, which often results in self-managed cheap technology, a lack of processes, and dated methods. Paul Westwood wanted to break that status quo and attract more people to the church by incorporating a modern aesthetic. Paul says: “We wanted to do things properly by selecting the right equipment that would help deliver results.” This included introducing the latest innovative interactive touch screens and multifunction print devices to elevate the church interior in-line with recent renovations.

A second issue was with print. Paul operates three courses through the church’s charity ‘The Hope Project’; each course catering for around twelve regular attendees that need to produce high-quality colour coursework throughout the year. The church’s existing desktop printer could not keep up with demand or facilitate this need. Paul says: “We were completely reliant on a very basic printer, and it really struggled to do what we needed. When you’re trying to run courses and a church it looks quite amateur when the operations are halted by a broken printer!”

The final problem was inherent in the church’s previous ‘lowest cost as possible’ approach. Paul says: “During courses I was using a paper flipchart to provide a sort of visual aid to help keep people focussed. But with these things you use them a couple of times, they start to look worn and it just looks very basic.” Therefore, the flipcharts tattered look and need for frequent refills was proving to do quite the opposite of keeping beneficiaries engaged.

An innovative, technological environment

With New Hope Baptist Church’s recent renovation in mind, Sharp’s first solution was to select devices that would complement and elevate its appearance. The Sharp PN-65SC1 BIG PAD was proposed to impress churchgoers with its generous full HD 65” touchscreen.

The Sharp multifunction MX-2640, with its 10.1” LCD colour multi-touch control panel and sleek shape was also proposed to impress. Its environmentally friendly functions would highlight that the church embraces modern issues, in a bid to attract a younger demographic.

The BIG PAD would also fulfil another church need – engagement. Paul says: “We really wanted something that could be used by everyone, that would make our teaching and coursework more interactive.” Capable of fast and responsive infrared 10-point touch for up to four users, the screen would encourage students to get out of their seats and collaborate. Two built-in stereo loudspeakers would clearly and effectively fill the large meeting space used by The Hope Project, keeping the charity’s beneficiaries engaged.

The proposed multifunction photocopier prints in crisp full colour, addressing the church’s need for improved print quality. The device would also be more than capable of keeping up with high-volume coursework printing, with a rapid warm-up time and output of 26ppm. Additionally, Sharp’s managed print service would proactively prevent breakdowns, ensuring that the machine was operational 24/7.

Managed services that drive engagement

Now that New Hope Baptist Church has integrated the latest innovative technology into the building, the church has a modern 21st century feel, which has already helped to attract the next generation of church goers. Aside from the appearance of the devices, there has been a massive jump in practicality and functionality. Paul says: “Sharp have solved all of our print problems, we now have the superb quality that we always wanted!” Where the church would have previously outsourced more advanced or higher volume print jobs, an extra financial burden, the MX-2640 has conveniently brought those capabilities in-house, consolidating costs.

The large touchscreen monitor has also brought benefits. Engagement is up, and the pen-on-paper experience of Sharp Pen Software means collaboration is fun, encouraged, and easier than ever. Paul says: “It’s now all about visual interaction, our students are up and out of their seats so it becomes less about being talked at and much more interactive!”

The interactive touchscreen is being used to immaculately display both image and video content, which drives engagement, making courses more interesting. Freeze-frame functions are also allowing both Paul and course students to remain in complete control of visible content, making presentations more cohesive, less fragmented, and more engaging.

Paul concludes: “We’re genuinely so thrilled with our Sharp experience and the impact their technology has had, so much so that we’re looking to obtain more technology for a planned conversion of the church’s nave.”

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