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Monday, October 24, 2016
Virtual priest attracts unexpected congregation
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¬†An online interactive learning tool developed to help primary school pupils in Religious Education lessons has led to a significant rise in the number of hits on the Catholic Church's priesthood website for England and Wales. However, it has been revealed that many of those visiting the webpage are not the intended audience. The 'Kit-out a Priest' page of the website lets visitors use drag and drop to dress up a priest in the vestments that he uses for services. It was developed to help pupils learn the name and symbolism of each vestment in a fun and interactive way. Pupils can even change the colour of the vestments to suit major feast days and the liturgical seasons. Staff at the Church's National Office for Vocation were initially quite satisfied to see the number of hits to the website more than double during January and February due to visits to the 'Kit-out a Priest' page. However it later became apparent that far from being aged eight or nine, many of those visiting the site were in their thirties and forties at least ≠ and already ordained. Father Paul Embery, Director of the Office for Vocation explained how the discovery came to light: "Someone let the cat out of the bag at an ecumenical meeting when they told me that an email was circulating around priests of a more Catholic persuasion in the Church of England, encouraging them to visit our site." "I suppose that an online vestry has a certain novelty value. It certainly goes to show that by using the Internet you can attract an unexpected audience. I should add however, that there's a lot more to being a priest than dressing up." To see for yourself visit:
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