I had a great chat this morning with Gregg Hatton-Fearnley, the IS/IT director at Centre Street Church here in Calgary.
The main purpose of my meeting with Gregg was to introduce myself and tell him about CITRT. CSC is the second largest church in Canada (the largest is either in Toronto or Winnipeg, he couldn’t recall which). Like most people who hear about CITRT, he was quite enthusiastic about the idea, and was bemoaning the lack of funds in his budget to go to the fall event at Seacoast. I have high hopes of seeing him at spring RT, though.
CSC has got a great facility which, as most of us have experienced, they practically had outgrown the day they opened the building. I was very impressed with Gregg’s openness and transparency about some of the big challenges he faces – he shared a lot for a first date! 🙂
Unsurprisingly, his biggest hurdles aren’t so much technological as they are human. (Has anyone else had problems getting the Worship Arts people to play nice on the network? Yeah, thought so. Wasn’t that the whole point of MinistryTECH? )
The other really big challenge CSC faces is personnel. The Calgary job market is tremendously competitive, with entry-level fast food workers fetching a starting wage of $15/hour, and a low-level network admin commands a 6-figure salary. It’s hard enough finding people to work for church wages in a sane job market, it’s got to be ridiculously hard to do in Calgary, especially when Big Oil is snapping up all the IT people it can, and for huge money.
CSC is also a recent addition to Fellowship One’s growing list of customers, and I got to experience some quirks of the check-in system on Saturday night when Andrea and I went to check out.
CITRT is truly an international bunch now… We’ve got Canadians and Australians on board too. I hope to see Gregg on IRC or the Talkcast soon 🙂
Naturally, no church visiti is complete without pictures from the facility:
This is the projector set for one of the side screens. This thing is a monster. Hard to tell from the picture, but each one is about the size of a coffin. These are mounted in the tech booth at the back of the 2400-seat sanctuary. The throw on these is a good 200 feet, possibly more.
The video control room:
A decorative waterfall in the narthex. The sculpture in the middle can be removed to turn it into a baptismal pool. The “chandeliers” nearby each have about 32 dimmer channels and are built to support stage lighting as well.
The other side of the narthex: