Feeds

Online church smites sinners

Excommunication for rowdy congregation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Online chapel the Church of Fools, stay with us here, has been forced to excommunicate some members of its congregation.

The Internet church launched last week and has already been overrun with worshippers. But some have behaved so badly that church wardens have been forced to "use the Smiting button" or instantly log-out some members.

Stephen Goddard, co-editor of Ship of Fools, the webzine behind the church, said: "There's been an endemic problem with people logging in with unpleasant or racist names. Also blokes chatting up girls, not bad in itself, but some are doing so in an unpleasant, profane and very persistent manner." Goddard said the problems were difficult to avoid in the chatroom environment and had not spoilt the experience - "we wanted to set up a sacred space for contemplation and it's been far more successful than we expected."

The church has had to ban people from taking their avatars to the pulpit area and remove a function which allowed people to "shout" at the whole congregation.

In the last few days the site has averaged 8,148 visitors a day. Church of Fools launched on 11 May and is funded to the tune of £5,000 by the Methodist Church UK. Goddard said: "Methodists have traditionally tried to engage people in a forward-thinking way."

Goddard told The Register that the site was an offshoot of the UK's largest Christian webzine Ship of Fools. The webzine takes a humourous look at Christian issues - "God with a grin". Goddard said readers of the site had long wanted an online chapel to talk and worship in. The site is running as a three-month experiment with backing from the Methodists and National Christian Resources.

Visitors to the site can pick a cartoon character and visit the church. Donations of money, bandwidth or security software are also welcome. ®

Bootnote

Stephen Goddard asked us to note that the Church of Fools site has been swamped after previous media reports. If you can't access the site, please try again later.

Related stories

C of E seeks dynamic cybervicar
Bath church casts net, catches 500
Avoid RSI and find God simultaneously

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.