“Discovering church” website wins award

The “Discovering church” website invites children to discover the church and Christian faith and to explore the life of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Photos: epv
The “Discovering church” website invites children to discover the church and Christian faith and to explore the life of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Photos: epv

Children discovering church and faith online

(LWI) – The website www.kirche-entdecken.de has taken first place in the Children Online Prize for 2020. The prize, awarded by the council of the Central German broadcaster MDR this year for the sixth time, comes with EUR 2,700 in prize money.

According to the jury, the website kirche-entdecken.de communicates knowledge about the Christian faith and other religions in a playful way. Creativity and media competence are fostered by enabling children to listen to stories from the Bible, look at the illustrations or read the stories themselves. All the media content is presented in a way suited to children: the texts are understandable; the audios are clearly audible, and the pictures are colorful and distinctive.

The website was produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover. Both are member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Church for children in an online format

The website is particularly suitable for elementary school children, presenting general knowledge about the Christian faith in a playful way.

Kira the Magpie invites girls and boys to discover various parts of the church.

Kira the Magpie invites girls and boys to discover various parts of the church.

Kira the Magpie leads the way as girls and boys get to know the church building as a place for new experiences. Starting from the main worship area they can look around the different spaces of a virtual church and make all kinds of interesting discoveries.

Creativity and media competence are fostered through visits to different parts of the church building. In the new Sunday School room children can read, hear and look at Bible stories; in the vestry they learn what items are needed for a worship service. The verger’s workshop contains a lot of valuable information about the church year, and the attic holds clues to other world religions.

Through the interactive website children can experience exciting adventures with Martin Luther, learn about the Reformation, find answers to questions about faith, play the organ with Kira, and much more.

In the attic Ottmar the Owl explains the religions of the world.

In the attic Ottmar the Owl explains the religions of the world.

Children who have no contact with a parish can also embark on this adventure in a church space, and can engage with their own or an unfamiliar faith. There also is a good dose of fun as the children encounter not only Kira but other church residents – her good old friends Benjamin the Mouse and Ottmar the Owl, and all kinds of new-found and unexpected creatures living in the church.

Completely up to date after relaunch

The website was given a complete overhaul for its relaunch in 2018/19. Technically the website was totally upgraded and restructured for mobile use. Kira’s church was also renovated, and every room redrawn and fitted out. All the information was revised, expanded and supplemented by a lot of new content (images/texts/animation) and presented in a fresh form. The voices, music and noises-off are all new. Almost all the content is available as an audio-file so that children who cannot (yet) read can also discover Kira’s church.

The Children Online Prize is awarded every two years and pays tribute to digital creations that are outstanding for their journalism or artistry, are “committed to the fostering of humanist thought and human dignity and are particularly suited to children and young people”. The selection of the best website is taken by an independent six-person jury and an online vote.