Church a-spires to connect to the web

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CHURCH spires could play a key role in bringing Wi-Fi, broadband and mobile access to rural areas through a new agreement between the Church of England and the Government.


The Church of England has signed an accord with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), setting out how churches and other church properties could host a new digital infrastructure.

Two-thirds of Church of England parishes are in rural areas including some of the remaining mobile and Wi-Fi ‘blackspots’. The Archdeacon of Dorchester, the Ven. Judy French, said: “I welcome this as Wi-Fi and mobile access is very important, especially in rural areas. Of course, it all depends on how this sensitive equipment is attached to the fabric of our historic buildings.”

Canon Adrian Daffern, the chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, said: “This is a wonderful way in which churches can provide a service to their community in an entirely new way. Good communications matter more than ever, especially in rural communities.”

The Revd Val Plumb, the Area Dean for Mission and Rural Development, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Church to bring a much-needed service to rural communities. It seems entirely appropriate that the Church should support a project that offers better communication between family and friends, support to those who work from home and attempt to break down some of the isolation that rural living can bring.”

The Revd Ros Roberts, the Vicar of the Lenborough Benefice and the Area Dean of Buckingham, said Wi-Fi equipment was first installed on churches in her area five years ago.

She said: “It’s allowed people to work from home. People need access to the internet for business use and children’s homework is often internet based and many people need the web for their shopping. It’s really important to be connected, especially in rural areas.”