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15th Century Church Adds Internet Prayers

September 07, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

One of Britain's oldest churches has catapulted itself into cyberspace by launching a worldwide prayer service on the Internet.

Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446, has become one of the first churches in Britain to take "e-prayer" requests. So far, it has been asked for prayerful help with exam results, relationships, job interviews and crises of faith.

"With a physical prayer book," says Andrew Heavens, the Scottish Episcopal Church's appropriately named spokesman, "people still might worry that someone could see them in church and look at what they have written."

But the online prayer service, Heavens said, "is totally anonymous, so people have really been pouring their hearts out."

The Rev. Michael Fass, priest in charge, said: "We live increasingly disconnected lives. If this is a way to connect people to a church, then that must be a good thing."

Anyone wishing for a prayer simply types a request on an online form and the request arrives with no mention of either the sender's name or address. It is then printed out and read in the chapel at noon.

The service is being offered through the Scottish Episcopal Church's Web site,

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