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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 06:59 GMT
Battle of the godly gadgets
JCUK t-shirts
Church leaders hope the new ideas will appeal to the young generation
Nine new church products, including a karaoke hymn player, will be battling it out for a new award at an exhibition in Devon.

A solar-powered electronic Bible and a JCUK (Jesus Christ, United King) T-shirt are among the products pitching to win the first My Church Needs One of Those (McNoot) Award to be held in Exeter on 5 February.

Four clergy from the South West will judge the products at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Westpoint, near Exeter, which runs from 5 to 7 February.

The products entered for the McNoot Award have been chosen to reflect different aspects of modern church life.

We are supporting new ways of approaching communication
Stephen Goddard, CRE organiser
Each company is allotted three-and-a-half minutes to make its pitch in front of the panel.

The shortlist includes the Digital Hymnal, a briefcase-sized karaoke player containing 1,500 hymns.

Designed for use in churches without organists and in old people's homes, it provides instant church music at the touch of a button.

Another gadget competing for the award is a wafer-thin solar-powered electronic Bible which plays recorded Bible readings in several different languages.

Digital hymnal
Digital hymnal: does your church need one of these?

Holy socks, preaching puppets and a double-glazing unit designed to protect stained glass windows are some of the other products bidding to secure the award.

Church leaders hope the new ideas will appeal to the younger generation and reverse the steep decline in church attendances.

"We are supporting new ways of approaching communication," said show organiser Stephen Goddard.

"There's been a big reaction from companies trying much more creative ways of communicating."

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