Okay, I’m not a particularly religious person but something on Sky News a couple of days ago caught my eye which I thought the religious readership I have would appreciate for it’s content and the agnostics amongst us would appreciate for a view on the ways the use of technology is becoming integrated into things that are quite traditional.

I am of course talking about the new website offered by St Philip and St James' in Bath and sponsored by Telewest which allows people from all over the world to log on to the website https://www.broadbandreligion.co.uk and watch a sermon online. To be honest it seems a little bit much like a glorified commercial for the church and very little to do with actual worship but I suppose the same could be said about Songs of Praise and that doesn’t seem to bother anybody.

So how does it work? Quite simply the church installed a 2mg Broadband line to broadcast everything over the Internet and this was recorded and put on to the website for people to view in either Windows or Real Audio formats at a later date. Of course a million and one people have done something similar to this in the past but because a church does it then the worlds ears prick up and take note.

One assumes that the website will be updated and further sermons will be broadcast as and when they are created as the advantages for the elderly and infirm are clear to see. Personally I believe that the appeal for most fit people will be limited as those involved in the church won’t find their laptop a suitable alternative.

When heading to the site, it does look more like an advert for Telewest than a religious experience and one can’t get the feeling that it could have been done a lot better than it was. There should be a gallery, guestbook, hymns online and a daily sermon broadcast to the Internet community. Instead the site consists essentially of one video file which seems like a waste for a site that has had so much publicity in the media.

It is a first attempt however and so the site should improve in the future as well of the distinct possibility that local churches could start adopting the idea as the costs go down in order to increase their congregation both on and offline. This would work out remarkably well for those people who for whatever reasons are not able to make it to the church but that do have Internet access although I can’t imagine many older people having Internet access fast enough to get the full benefit from such a site.

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