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World cup winners

The Church of England has published two prayers for all involved in the World Cup on its official website. Traffic to the site apparently increased by 30% following the publication of the prayers. I am not sure if that figure is real or not but I should find out for definite at the end of the month when the monthly stats are revealed.

Of course, while our nation collectively holds its breath for Wayne Rooney’s return and more inclement weather than the team suffered on Saturday when they struggled to beat Paraguay, prayer seems like a pretty good way for average men and women in the street (but probably mostly men) to engage with something beyond themselves and find something, anything in which to place their hope and trust.

Whoever thought of posting the prayers and whoever created the prayers deserve some plaudits. It’s a good thing for the Church of England to be using its online facility to reach out to the wider public and not just those who darken our doors on a Sunday morning.

I could, at length, explain why I think the Church of England website is so poor and why it is such a missed opportunity; badly run and badly conceived. Maybe one day I will, when but more likely ‘if’ it ever seems the wisest course of action.

For the moment, I’ll content myself with asking two questions.

Why has no-one updated the descriptor field in their search engine so that the search results gave some indication that world cup prayers were present… would you guess to look at the ‘prayers’ page from this list (see image below)? And who is JHM anyway and did he or she have some gift of foresight on 9 May 2005?

Screengrab from Church of England website


Okay, so that’s three questions but there is one more to ask… Why are these prayers not advertised or linked to from the increasingly useless homepage?

I moan and quibble, I know. Let’s end by being gracious and just plain glad that they are doing something and that, if the stats are true, some people are finding these prayers and joining together as one to lift 23 of England’s finest footballers before the gracious eyes of our Lord.

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