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Issue 2 number 4 February 2016

Is there an app for that? Alexandra Green

U The Editors

Andrew Colborne Alexandra Green Louise Heffernan Sheila Hills

Silvia Joinson David Pope

Carol Worthington

Copy for next issue to Parish Office or via email by 5th of

preceding month E-mail:


Parish Office:

St Helen’s Court, Ab- ingdon.

OX14 5BS Tel: 01235 520144

The Window is available to download from the

Churches’ websites on the back page

sually my Lenten resolutions, like New Year’s resolutions, tend to be wildly over- ambitious, often involving something like ’trying a new method of praying’, ‘learning how to do Lectio Divina properly’, ‘give up newspapers’, and as a consequence don’t

last much beyond the first Sunday in Lent. Last year I was determined to find something that was realistic, that fitted in with my daily life, but that would also be spiritually beneficial. Hav- ing had a new smartphone for Christmas, I was in the fortunate position of being able to use ‘apps’. I discovered that Church House Publishing, the ‘official’ Church of England publisher, had various apps with the materials from Common Worship, the umbrella resource for orders of service which have authorisation to be used in the Church of England.

At St Helen’s every weekday, Morning and Evening Prayer (the Daily Offices) are said in the Lady Chapel using the Common Worship form. Both are heavily reliant on scripture, and in- clude psalms, readings from the Old and New Testaments, canticles, as well as prayers such as a collect for the day, a short responsory (similar in form to the responsorial psalm we sing at the Eucharist), and intercessory prayer. Morning and Evening Prayer, as well as Night Prayer (Compline) are available as a free app to download from the Church House Publishing website The relevant material for each day is presented, so there is no fumbling around with books or sheets of paper, making it ideal for saying Morning and Even- ing Prayer on public transport, or Night Prayer in bed just before going to sleep. There is also the knowledge that you are joining with other Anglicans in praying the same service as them, even if you are not physically together.

So to go back to Lent 2015: as I commute on public transport and given any chance I would find it hard to maintain a routine and habit if there was very much effort involved, I needed something that was easy to transport, easy to use, that was structured and gave me a sense of connection with people and places with whom and where I worshipped. And it worked! At Easter last year, I thought I would carry on, and am still saying the Daily Offices on line as we approach Lent 2016.

There are lots of apps and online resources to help us in our spiritual life. There are a number of apps which give access to various translations of the Bible (for example Olive Tree's the Bible Study App. You can use it to track your reading, make notes, and download study tools, or just read a particular passage). This is also useful when commuting or on holiday, where a printed Bible may be heavy or take up space. There are often e-book versions of devotional or spiritual books available as well as the printed version. BRF (the Bible Reading Fellowship based here in Abingdon) well known for its daily bible reading notes produces Kindle versions of some of its books and has an app for the different Bible reading notes series. Church House Publishing have just launched Lenten Reflections, a reflection or commentary and prayer for each day of Lent.

So why not try an e-prayer life this Lent? Alexandra Green is editorial lead for The Window and worships at St Helen’s

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