The Church of England is celebrating the success of the new technology...
Users of the Alexa smart speaker produced by Amazon can now ask their device to recite a mealtime prayer which has been recorded by the Church of England.
They can also access prayers specifically for the morning, evening and the night-time - as well as ask a limited number of faith-based questions, such as 'What is the Bible?'.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: "We're thrilled to be launching the Alexa skill... to enable regular churchgoers and those exploring faith to connect with God in another way at a time that's right for them."
What else can you ask the Church of England?
Alexa, ask the Church of England…
- For today's prayer
- Read me the Lord's Prayer
- Read me the Beatitudes
- For the Ten Commandments
- To read me the Apostle's Creed
- For my nearest church
- To find churches near ...(town)
- For a prayer for morning
- For an evening prayer
- To read a night prayer
- About christenings
The new function, known as a skill, can be accessed by anyone asking their Alexa device 'Alexa, open the Church of England'.
'Who is God?' and 'What is a Christian?' are among other questions which users can pose - as long as they are preceded with the words 'Alexa, ask the Church of England...'. There are plans to expand the range of answers the skill can offer.
The new Church of England skill, which was developed by the app developer Aimer Media, also allows users to find their nearest Anglican congregation. It is thought to be "one of the first significant faith-based skills" available for smart speaker users in the UK.
Adrian Harris, head of digital at the Church of England, said: "Platforms such as Alexa give the Church the ability to connect people with God and to weave faith into daily lives, whether for daily prayers or exploring Christianity.
"We also see this as a fantastic opportunity to encourage people into their local church, which is why the link to A Church Near You is so important, particularly at key moments in the Christian year such as Easter and Christmas.
"We're prioritising Alexa at this stage to reach as many people as quickly as possible but plan to launch on Google and Apple devices in due course."
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