Welsh company launches downloadable Bible for reading in the dark

By staff writers
October 3, 2007

A company in Monmouthshire, Wales, an area where Dr Rowan Williams used to be bishop before eventually moving on to Canterbury, has launched a line of religious mobile phone products, including a downloadable Bible for £6.

The firm, Teimlo, has launched the service, which is called Ecumen, to deliver daily prayers, computer wallpapers and mobile ring tones. Non-violent family-friendly games are also available.

The name appears to be a combination of ‘acumen’ and the first three syllables of ‘ecumenical’, indicating the unity project of the church within the world.

Mr Erik Fok, head of sales and marketing, told the BBC this week that he believes young people, especially, will approve of the service. The company is hoping for an enthusiastic uptake.

“The market for Christian content on mobile phones hasn't been well-served,” he explained. “There are young Christians out there who want this kind of thing for their phones.”

Continued Fok: “Christian organisations and churches have been on the back foot in terms of communication, and in terms of getting hold of the current technology and ways of communicating. This provides a tremendous opportunity.”

The downloadable version of the Christian scriptures is being promoted as the only Bible you can actually read in the dark.

Popular wallpapers available through the Ecumen website include pictures of angels, Noah's Ark, Jesus walking on water and religious messages and symbols.

Ring tones range from the traditional Amazing Grace and Bread of Heaven to modern songs by rock group Delirious, to the distinctly unholy sounds of "burps and laughs" and "pig squeal".

Pastor Robbie Howells, of Newport City Church, south Wales, said: "Our mission is to get the good news out there through every medium we can. Mobile phones are such a great way of telling people about the gospel, and as a pastor it gives me a new way of communicating with members of the church, especially young people. It's getting the message across in a fun, funky way."

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