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Moving Bible scenes

AT THE other extreme from the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition at the British Library earlier this year, Sunrise Software’s website, www. sunrise-software.com, introduces Ilumina. This, it claims, is the world’s first digitally animated Bible. It offers computer-generated moving pictures, of Bible scenes.

The Bible is available in various editions: Ilumina Gold has a full text of the AV and the new Living Version, and includes a range of virtual tours, including historic and present-day Jerusalem, animations of the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, and much more.

Preview trailers on the site are dramatic, and so brief that you can have fun guessing whether it’s the birth of Isaac or the Annunciation that’s being shown. There are also behind-the-scenes videos showing how the software was made.

Ilumina Gold is now on special offer from Sunrise’s site at £59.95. Ilumina Version 1, with fewer features, costs £29.95.

Log in your family

ONLINE obituaries can now be found at www. thelifebank.org, a new site designed to provide free information for local papers and a more personal service for individuals. The site’s main aim is to offer people a chance to record family history online, providing a central bank of information for relatives and other interested parties. It will include obituaries from newspapers.

There is a time-line facility for browsers to keep an ongoing record of family events and even to note personal legal details in a virtual safe-deposit box, using a security password. Solicitors have also registered with the scheme, and there is a facility to send messages to relatives on birthdays and anniversaries.

Accounts win prizes

WELL PRESENTED online accounts can help to raise awareness and even money for churches and charities. In a search for the charities that have published the best annual report and accounts on their websites, the Charities Aid Foundation and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales recently announced the first-ever Charities’ Online Accounts Awards.

Among the 13 winners, divided into four categories by income, were two churches. Christ Church, Ware, in St Albans diocese, received a special mention in the £100,000 to £500,000 category, and St Luke’s, Great Ilford, in Chelmsford diocese, won third prize in the category of those with income under £100,000. Full details of the awards, including the judges’ criteria, are online at www.cafonline.org/onlineawards.

Virtual cathedral charging

ST PAUL’S Cathedral (right) has revamped its website. New features include news, which is updated daily, and an interactive diary showing events.

St Paul’s has taken the unusual step of charging for parts of the site: you can take a virtual tour of the inside of the cathedral for £2, which gives you unlimited access for a year. A spokeswoman said: “The tour has been created to mirror a physical visit to the cathedral, for which there is also a charge. . . [It] is an innovative way to both raise money and provide access.”

Online youth group

THERE IS an attractive new website, set up by Christian young people for young “Christians around the world” and “those who want to know more about God”, at www.14219.net. Features include a chat room with an administrative facility, an advice/prayer request section and an area for jokes. There is a heavy emphasis on music: the site has a public ftp, which lets musicians share musical creations, and regular polls about the charts.

The site is still in its infancy, and the organisers are looking for young people to help run and develop it. Anyone who fancies getting involved should email the address listed on the site’s homepage.
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