The earliest version (pre image selection software) was reviewed on www.echurchactive.net. We have included it here with their permission.

This CD-Rom is a gift for anyone who is attempting to publicise the merits of technology in worship to a sceptical congregation. It merges ancient spirituality with new technology: to my mind, the best of all worlds!

The artwork is stunning. It reminded me of the Book of Kells, and so many other Celtic images that have peaked in popularity over the last decade, but, unlike many of the latter, this is the genuine article. It has been designed by artist, Mary Fleeson. The blurb on the website (www.lindisfarne-scriptorium.co.uk) tells me that she has lived on the Island of Lindisfarne since 1997, and clearly, she is immensely gifted.

I loved some of the pictures for their simplicity: a few are little more than line drawings, and yet there’s something about them that will move anyone who is anything more than a Philistine (with apologies to the Philistines). Other designs are complex in the extreme. The colours weave designs together, almost Islamic in their intricacy. All of them, if you allow them to, will draw you into the image and beyond. If you have the kind of mind that refuses to shut up when you’re trying to pray, these pictures will help. They move somehow: not at the frantic pace of the rush hour or the weekly shop, but like the water, the sunshine, and the air that you can imagine inspired Mary Fleeson from her island home. The artist intends us to be drawn into meditation upon the divine, and I feel that she succeeds.

All 200 of these Clip Art images can be easily incorporated into PowerPoint, Word or, presumably, any other file you desire. The copyright licence allows you to project them in your worship and print them in your non-profit making magazines, but not to use them on your website. The Clip Art can be edited by you for your own publications (obviously, not for sale as your own work!) although, why you would want to alter any of them, I cannot imagine.

Within a separate folder are some prayers presented as PowerPoint files. Each one is under the title “A Call to Pray”, but it is not the kind of “Call to Prayer” you might usually expect within worship. The prayers are, instead, calls to fullness of life, and all but one are phrased in the singular. They seem to be more suitable for display at the end of a service, or even for meditation within a service, or a small group, but not calls that will initiate corporate prayer.

The words of the prayers themselves have a similar kind of compelling beauty to the pictures. They are included, not only as PowerPoint files, but also as Adobe PDF files in the form of small prayer cards that can be printed out for people to take away. Unfortunately, these are in black and white, but the printout is, nevertheless, of a good quality. Alternatively, all 13 appear in PDF format for colour printing on A4.

In the PowerPoint section of the CD can be found a folder entitled “extrabits” this includes 7 “biblebits” which are inspirational quotes decorated with Clip Art. The second “extrabit” is a prayer entitled “Grant me”. I felt the latter to be a real gem. It includes the fantastic clip art illustrations of biblical characters and saints. My favourite is Zacchaeus whose head and arms reach up above the leaves of the palm tree, while his legs point precariously in opposite directions below! The prayer itself asks that we might be given the good qualities of four characters, or groups. It can effectively be run as a presentation without anything else needed, and I’m sure it would be of immense use to many in congregations.

The only drawback to this CD may be the limited use made of technology. Don’t expect any flashy effects, sound or video. This package belongs more accurately under the title “artwork” or “spirituality” not “technology”.

Included is the Adobe PDF Reader for PC and Macintosh, and also the Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition for PC, which simply allows you to open and store the images. The prayers, “biblebits” and “grantme” are all included as screensavers which load quickly and efficiently, and switch between images in the same way as your own photos do.

If you are looking for a whiz-flash CD-Rom with sound, colour and instant application, this CD will be a complete disappointment in every way.

If you are looking for a huge bundle of original Celtic art with generous licencing, application for retreat days, home groups, services, church magazines and your own spiritual life, this is a bargain CD-Rom at £15.00 plus P&P. I have to say… I think it’s fabulous!

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Christine Harman, Methodist Minister working with 3 village churches in the Salisbury Circuit.
First published in eChurch Active issue 10, August 2004