Not only are cameras in worship spaces common these days, but to be honest most people have grown accustomed to CCTV systems as an every day part of their public life, for good or bad.
All that to say no, I don’t think they would have any impact at all, muchness a negative one.
While never the sole source of footage for the room, it is fairly common to mount PTZ camera(s) at the front of the auditorium looking back at the congregation.
But this touches on an underlying issue in designing CCTV systems that I think is often overlooked.
Namely, that CCTV systems are rarely designed to actually deliver on the role they were asked to fulfill.
In order for a CCTV to cover a space well and provide after-the-fact insight into complex scenarios, you typically need a number of different image streams.
- You have your foundation shots, these are fixed-lens-and-position cameras which blanket the whole space, ideally from multiple angles, so that after the fact you understand the greater “context” of the situation.
- You have your ingress/egress shots, these are fixed-lens-and-position cameras which give you good facial shots of people both coming and going from your facilities choke points.
- You then have your region of interest shots, these are (typically, but not always) PTZ cameras with enough zoom and resolution to be able to give you specific information about whatever area in your overall foundational shots needs attention.
While not every project needs each of these shots as discrete components, I hope I am communicating the overall goal, which is to maintain overall situational awareness at the same time as collecting both identifying and region of interest information.
Typically (often) CCTV systems are installed without considering these discrete needs and how they interact with the facility as a whole. When this happens the facility may end up with a lot of cameras that can theoretically cover the entire space, but in reality don’t capture enough contextual information to answer the questions they were meant to.