The Virtual Worshipper

by Gerry Lynch last modified 14 Apr, 2016 02:04 PM

Bishop Nicholas encounters an "e-baby" as part of a Mothers' Union project for young people

Bishop Nicholas recently encountered a surprising member of the congregation at a service he was conducting – a ‘virtual baby’.

When he arrived in Holy Saviour, Westbury Leigh, for a White Horse Benefice service, the two altar servers were Helen Thomas and her daughter, Abigail.

Abigail attends Matravers School, Westbury, and was caring for a Virtual Baby for the weekend. The school works in partnership with the Mothers’ Union to operate the project on a regular basis.

The Mother’s Union Virtual Babies project gives young people a life-size electronic baby simulator to look after for a period of time. They imitate the behaviour of real babies and require looking after in just the same way as a real baby would. They bawl loudly when neglected, and cry when they need a feed, their nappy changed or other attention.

The project aims to help young people understand the constant care babies require, and the incredible responsibilities that go along with bringing up a child.

As the babies have to be cared for night and day throughout the weekend, ‘baby Ade’ came to church too and, while Abigail was holding a candle, Grandma, Beryl Drake, held the baby!

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