World first for St Paul’s Church, Birmingham

QRpedia codes on display at the famous East Window of St Paul's
QRpedia codes on display at the famous East Window of St Paul’s

St Paul’s is the first church in the world to utilise innovative QRpedia technology

Visitors and worshippers at St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham have a new way to learn about the history of the church. This beautiful, Grade I listed building has become the first church in the world to utilise QRpedia codes.

QRpedia codes – a variation of QR (or Quick Response) codes – are objects that can be scanned using a smartphone, which then direct you to a Wikipedia page about the object or location, in the language used by the phone – so providing multi-lingual content to overseas and local visitors alike.

As well as a code linking to the article about the church itself, others provide information about famous parishioners such as James Watt and Matthew Boulton – who both had their own pews in the church. We can only wonder what such scientific pioneers would have made of this innovative technology.

Andy Mabbett is a well-known local Wikipedian who helped install the codes within the church. He said: “There are a huge range of topics related to historic churches so it’s marvellous to be able to share information with visitors and parishioners. I very much look forward to working with more places of worship, with all faiths, to install QRpedia, which is free to use.”

Other topics covered by the codes include the artists who designed and made the famous east window, Benjamin West and Francis Eginton, Francis Goodwin, who added the spire and renowned organist, James Stimpson, who was the city’s first.

Mr Mabbett was keen to encourage more people to get involved with the work of Wikipedia. He said: “When we announced we’d completed this project, members of a Hindu temple in Mumbai got in touch to say that they’d been inspired to work on a similar project. I’d encourage anyone linked with a place of worship, or any historical building or place, to have a go.”

Birmingham is also home to the first railway station in the world to implement QRpedia technology, Birmingham Moor Street station.

To find out more about adding QRpedia codes to a place that’s important to you, please email andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk

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