The Church of England Finds Success With Amazon Alexa Skill
One year after its launch, The Church of England reported this week that 75,000 questions have been asked using The Church of England Alexa skill. The skill includes access to daily prayers, meal graces and the Lord’s Prayer as well as information about the nearest churches through integration with The Church of England’s tool called A Church Near You. Data shows the skill is the most popular at night. The most common use is having prayers read aloud, followed by asking questions to explore the Christian faith.
The Church of England’s success is in part due to the continuous updates made to the Alexa skill post-launch. To keep people engaged in the evening, mealtime and night prayers were added and a variety of videos were also added to improve the user experience on smart displays. The Church also plans to continue improving the voice app in the future. Future plans include offering daily prayer services by including prayers from a new publication called Thy Kingdom Come and to eventually provide even more answers for faith-based questions.
The skill will be available on Fire TVs and tablets when the Alexa skill updates next. The Church also hopes to bring the content to other platforms like Google Home and Apple HomePod. “The aim of the Alexa skill is to help users to know more of the love of Jesus Christ, to enable regular churchgoers and those exploring faith to connect with God in another way and at a time that’s right for them,” commented Dr. John Sentamu, The Archbishop of York.
Religious & Spirituality Alexa Skills
There are over 3,000 results available in the Religion & Spirituality section of the Amazon Alexa Skill store with the skill YouVersion Bible by Life.Church leading in ratings. The 4.5-star skill lets people listen to books, chapters, and verses in the five professionally narrated versions of the Bible. YouVersion Bible also connects to Google Assistant, but the Kids version is only accessible on Amazon devices.
Global analytics firm Gallup released a survey that found 38% of American adults attended religious services on a weekly basis in 2017. While church attendance declined over the last decade, people still worship in their own ways and having access to unlimited faith resources through smart devices allows the community to remain strong, wherever their location. “It’s been wonderful for me to see the impact the Alexa skill has had in giving people extra opportunities to pause and pray throughout the week, especially given changing life patterns,” said Reverend Katherine Hedderly, a contributor to the Alexa project.