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iPad vicar encourages Burscough worshippers to tweet during services
30 March 2011

By David Simister

Reverend Richard Jones with the iPad he uses during his church services.

Churchgoers are being invited to tweet their comments during sermons by a vicar as he holds a Bible in one hand and an iPad in the other.

Rev Richard Jones, of St John the Baptist Church, on School Lane, Burscough, calls on his congregation to join in a special service by using their mobile phones to text and tweet him

They can also post questions and topics for discussion to him on Facebook to be used as he delivers his sermons at a new Cafe Church service, which are being held every six to eight weeks.

Mr Jones said: “The emphasis at Cafe Church is very much on interaction. The topics we discuss are chosen by the congregation. We begin with a few words from me but people are encouraged to interrupt and get involved. I speak with the Bible in one hand and an iPad in the other.

"People who don’t necessarily want to speak may prefer to tweet, text or post a question on facebook. We wanted to offer something alongside our usual services that encouraged debate in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and we have been amazed by the fantastic response we have had so far.“

All ages are welcome and people are invited to leave the pews and sit on chairs, bean bags, drink coffee and eat muffins as they participate at the informal session.

Time is also given for discussion in groups and the session begins with an act of worship.

Mr Jones already uses the Internet by writing a blog on the church website, and is also encouraging churchgoers to get in touch with him by Facebook, now the world's biggest social networking site.

The next Cafe Church takes place at 6pm on Sunday April 3, with the theme of "Heaven".

If you want to know more about the Cafe Church, go to Twitter and search for @sjbburscough orvisit


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