Ancient Practice goes hi-tec


With many churches not open for in-person meetings and services at the moment, some are experimenting with innovative new ways of connecting with their communities. At St Andrews, North Kilworth, part of the Avon Swift team of churches, the ancient practice of pilgrimage has been given a modern twist with their QR code churchyard pilgrimage.

The brainchild of Pioneer Ministers Stephen and Sharon March, the pilgrimage has ten stations dotted around the churchyard, each with a QR code. “Pilgrims” use their smart phone, and each code takes them to a webpage which has some historical information about the church, some interesting facts, some questions to ponder, and a verse or two of Scripture.

Stephen said, “We wanted to provide something for local families to do. We noticed a lot more people walking around during these Lockdown periods. The QR code pilgrimage enables you to walk with a purpose.

We produced a paper version to start with but using QR Codes is both safer in terms of COVID and is also more environmentally friendly.

We think younger family members will like the ‘treasure hunt’ aspect of finding the 10 panels with the QR codes on. Using the reader app on a smartphone to reveal the ‘secret’ message is another thing they might enjoy.

Peter Jones, a PCC member, helped us by sharing his wealth of knowledge about the churchyard and some of the exterior features of the church. Carolyn Sanders the Churchwarden was very supportive of the idea.

Here in North Kilworth we’re keen to make St Andrew’s churchyard – and the church itself – feel like a community space. This venture is just the first of many to try and do that.”

Sharon added “Not being able to regularly spend time with the staff and children in school has been one of the real difficulties of lockdown. At least with this activity there is something for everybody to access. And looking ahead, we’re hoping to have an element of visual liturgy for Lent and Easter in this same space.”

You can see the first ‘station’ at www.fuelforpilgrims.wordpress.com/qr-code-pilgrimage-1/

For further info contact Stephen at ‘stephen.march@leccofe.org’ or Sharon on  ‘sharon.march@marchsite.com


First published on: 1st February 2021

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