The Church of England has announced a rather unusual spiritual vacancy - that of online vicar for its new i-church.
This virtual place of worship - which come under the auspices of the Diocese of Oxford - is a "web-based community for those who wish to explore Christian discipleship, but who are not able, or do not wish, to join a local parish church".
Naturally, applicants should have all the usual qualifications - belief in God is one that springs immediately to mind. They are not, however, required to demonstrate html or Java programming skills: "We are looking for a dynamic, confident Christian (lay or ordained) who is able to build this new community, lead its core members, and be available to visitors to the site. You will need excellent communication skills and the ability to work creatively in a new and untested environment. You will link with the communications team of the Diocese. Web creation will be provided by the Diocese."
The successful candidate will be engaged for an initial three-year term. Responsibilities will include "recruiting, pastoring and leading the core community members", "researching and providing a rich information portal for visitors to the site" and "helping to develop an effective and sustainable funding base for the community".
There you go - not a church roof appeal raffle in sight. All very happening and now, we have to admit.
And if readers think we're going easy on this piece of C of E virtual tambourine shaking, then there's a very good reason: should the job go to a Reg reader, might we humbly beseech that they ask the man upstairs - in recognition of the Web's advancement of His cause in cyberspace - to smite spammers and their first born with terrible vengeance? Thanks. ®