A Cumbrian church is embracing the new media age by allowing people to post their prayers digitally and have them projected onto a wall in the church.
St Michael's and All Angels in Hawkshead has installed specialist equipment that will also allow the congregation and visitors to share their prayers with members of a church in Hackney in London. Kim Inglis went to have a look.
A Lake District church is partnering up with a London congregation as part of a pioneering digital prayer project.
Specialist equipment has just been installed at St Michael's and All Angels in Hawkshead allowing people to type in prayers that are then projected onto the church's interior wall.
In coming weeks a link will also be created to allow the prayers to be shared with members of the Church of St Peter de Beauvoir in Hackney in London.
Two months ago John was approached by a team from Project CEDE (Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy), which includes input from the University of Lancaster, Sheffield University and the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis from University College London.
Among the key aims of CEDE are the exploration of ways to make digital communication more empathetic and the reduction of isolation across communities, groups and individuals.
The digital installation includes four votive candles which light up when a prayer is registered on a touch screen device near the church's entrance.
Within a few minutes the prayer is projected onto the wall of the church and is framed within special artwork which has been designed to mirror existing pictures in St Michael's. The prayers continue to cycle through as new ones are added.
The four candle prayer system has been in place for two weeks and so far John says there has been real interest shown.
He added: "It's wonderful to see how everybody - and especially younger people - have come into the church and really engaged in the prayer process through this project.
"We live in a media age and anybody coming to this church under a certain age is very familiar with new media. People communicate all the time in this way and there's no reason why the church should be any different."
The Bishop of Carlisle has been reflecting on the past year in the Church of England.
In a festive video, the Right Reverend James Newcome looks back on some of the year's important moments, including the decision to allow women to become bishops.
The Bishop of Carlisle has welcomed the news that women can now become bishops within the Church of England.
The General Synod voted in favour of the move yesterday after almost five hours of debate.
Thirty-seven bishops voted in favour with two against and one abstention, while 162 clergy approved with 25 against and four abstentions.
In the House of Laity, there were 152 votes in favour, 45 against and five abstentions.
The Bishop of Carlisle is to lead Cumbrian commission on welfare reform. The Rt Rev'd James Newcome will chair a county Commission which will review the impact of current and proposed Welfare Reforms.
The Commission has been established at the request of the Cumbria Leaders Board which is made up of key public and third sector leaders in the county. Evidence from charities, community organizations and individuals will be collected over the coming months.
The first poet in residence ever to be installed at Carlisle Cathedral in its 900 year history, has been visiting the city to explain what he hopes he can bring to the church in Cumbria.
He says he wants to use his position to engage the community with the Cathedral's day to day work.
Ryan Dollard reports:
Carlisle Cathedral's first 'poet in residence', (in it's 900 year history), has been explaining what he would like to achieve in the role.
Martyn Halsall was in the city to talk about how he'd like to involve more of the community in the Cathedral's day to day life:
After nine hundred years it has been decided that Carlisle Cathedral should have a resident poet penning verse from within it's walls. Martyn Halsall is the man who has been charged with the task. The former Guardian journalist takes up his post today.
The Archdeacon of West Cumberland Richard Pratt has spoken out against the changes to the VAT exemptions for listed buildings. The extension at St Bridgets in Bridekire near Cockermouth would have cost £50,000 more under the budget changes.He said:
"Previously it was only repair work, such as to the roof, which was subject to VAT now any alteration and restoration work will also have to pay it.
We understand the government is between a rock and a hard place on this issue because of the economic climate but we fund everything ourselves through volunteers so I hope they will reconsider."
He added: "The extension here at Bridekirk probably wouldn't be here if it had to pay the tax. It cost £250,000 to build. VAT would push that figure to £300,000 so the congregation would probably still be raising the money."
In last month's budget George Osbourne removed tax exemptions for improvements, alterations and restorations on listed buildings. There are suggestions this could cost the Church of England who have 12,500 listed buildings up to £20million. Currently buildings only incur VAT on routine repair work.