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Tom Wright urges people to ‘count their blessings’ as Christian Aid launches Lent android app

February 02 2012 - Christian Aid has launched a free android app designed to help people ‘count their blessings’ during Lent.

The new app provides daily reflections straight to an android mobile phone as well as offering practical suggestions about how to give to those in need.

Count Your Blessings, is available in printed form and through the Christian Aid website as well as the app.

Former Bishop of Durham, Prof Tom Wright, said Lent was the perfect time for UK Christians to reflect on what they have to be grateful for and stand in solidarity with the poor.

'As economic and political troubles increase around the world, many of us forget just how much we ourselves have to be thankful for,' he said.

'Count your blessings is a great way of using the discipline of Lent to remind ourselves of just how fortunate we are – and of the very practical ways in which we can share our blessings with those in greatest need.'

The app, which can be downloaded for free to any android phone, was designed by Alex Connell who did not charge for his time.

Mr Connell, who is married to Christian Aid staff member Lucy, said he was pleased to help out.

'Lucy mentioned that Christian Aid had a campaign which they wanted to turn into a mobile application but were constrained by budget,' he said.

'In the past I had helped out making videos and serving as a barman at a charity quiz night but as I’ve been a software developer for 14 years I thought this was the perfect project to get involved with.

'What I liked about this app is the unique approach of making people think about who it is they’re helping with donations, telling them how Christian Aid will support them and making us realise how lucky we are to live the way we do.

'It’s good to know code I’ve written might help improve or even save lives.'

Count Your Blessings can be used as part of a personal journey through Lent, which starts on February 22, or used to lead small group reflections.  A children’s version is also available for use at home or with Sunday schools.

Anne Phipps of Christian Aid said: “The new Count Your Blessings app is a brilliant way to help people reflect on the good things in their lives and give to those living in poverty. 

'Thousands of people count their blessings with Christian Aid each Lent using our printed version, but we wanted to open up the experience to whole new group of people who are more likely to check their phone than grab a pen.'

Android phone users can download the app by snapping the QR code printed here or by searching for ‘count your blessings’ in the android app store.  In addition users of facebook can connect with other people during Lent by visiting www.christianaid.org.uk/Facebook-count-your-blessings or searching for the hashtag #cyblessing on Twitter.

Paper copies of the reflections are available from Christian Aid and can be downloaded from the website, www.christianaid.org.uk/lent.

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For details about how to download the app visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/Lent2012/android-app.aspx

If you would like further information please contact Joe Ware on 0207 523 2418 or jware@christian-aid.org.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk