Church of the Vanishing Avatar

As one of the more radical atheists you’d be likely to find, I probably ought to think the idea of a virtual church is very silly, but the approach taken by Church of Fools strikes me as oddly sweet, in a naive-but-I-hope-it-works way. Technically it seems very nicely put together. I particularly like that, because denomination-specific sacraments don’t fit into the new technology, it naturally has an inter-denominational approach, and it can focus on the tradition-free strengths of the church environment: community, meditation, peacefulness. It seems to tend more towards the bumbling good-naturedness of Anglicanism, and be free from the scariness of happy-clappy fundamentalism. I hope it succeeds. In the meantime, there’s also a dry sense of humour about the oddness of the experiment:

Church of Fools got off to a flying start on Tuesday May 11th, until a computer crashed somewhere in York, England. At the computer was Revd Jem Clines, who was logged in to the church as its minister. His onscreen character, wearing a dark suit and a dog collar, turned to face the sanctuary wall and then simply disappeared, as Revd Clines’ computer died some 225 miles away.

And a piece on the BBC web-site has some funny comments:

Thought I’d pop in and take a look around. My 5 yr old son on my lap. “WOW,” he said, “which one’s you?” I pointed to me. “So who’s on your team…and which ones do you kill?” I don’t think its going to be a hit with the younger generation.

Good luck to the experiment.

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