By Sarah Mac Donald - 23 October, 2019
St Conleth’s in Newbridge, Co Kildare has launched its very own App, becoming one of the first parishes in the country to do so.
The Newbridge Parish App was designed by local parishioner Charlotte Vard, and was launched by Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin.
According to St Conleth’s parish priest, Fr Paul Dempsey, “The creation of an App is very much part and parcel of what it is to be a modern parish in the always connected world that we are all part of.”
He said the App was “a way for us as a parish to communicate with our parishioners and literally be a presence in parishioners’ pockets, because everybody nowadays has a smartphone.”
He hopes the App will help the parish reach out to more people with news and information about the life of the parish but also offer them something of what it is to be a person of faith.
“We have also become increasingly conscious of our need to be more sustainable as a parish and the new App will make us less reliant on paper resources as we can now send our notifications through the App.”
The App developer, Charlotte Vard is a volunteer in St Conleth’s parish who has skills in IT.
The App incorporates contact numbers, emails and addresses of the parish team and parish offices. It also contains material about baptisms and other sacraments such as marriage as well as First Communion and Confirmation.
As one of the largest parishes in the country, there are over 400 preparing for First Communion and a similar number preparing for Confirmation in 2020 at St Conleth’s. The App allows parents to download the whole programme for Communion or Confirmation and even provides information on the actual ceremonies.
As this will save on paper, Fr Dempsey said and described the App as “a green initiative”.
He also expressed delight at the take up of the App.
“We have been really encouraged by the interest and uptake of the App. We recently launched this year’s programme for those preparing for First Communion and Confirmation in the parish and we invited the parents to download the App. They have taken to it very well and it has been downloaded hundreds of times already.”
Referring to Pope Francis’ comments on digital spaces as places to be present as Church and as people of faith, he said the Newbridge Parish App was about “putting out into the deep of the internet with something user-friendly and accessible”.
“My hope is that people will engage with the App to find out more about the day to day life of the parish and to maybe whet their appetite about their faith.”
The App is free and available to download as ‘Newbridge Parish’ on the Apple and Android stores.