More than one million people pray online with Church of England podcast and app


The number of people using the Church of England’s Daily Prayer audio service has passed a million, as the podcasting revolution begins to reshape how people worship.

The podcast, also available as audio on the Daily Prayer app, follows the Church of England’s traditional cycle of Morning and Evening Prayer, with a range of voices and music.

The short atmospheric services feature prayers and readings following the pattern set out in the Church of England’s Common Worship services, recorded by volunteers across the country.

They are edited together with music from the St Martin’s Voices choir at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, by the Church of England’s Digital team.

It was launched in March last year after churches across the country reported large numbers tuning into prayer services broadcast online during Covid restrictions.

It comes amid signs of a resurgence of interest in the ancient monastic cycle of daily worship.

Thomas Allain-Chapman, Head of Publishing for the Church of England, said: “Adding audio to the existing Daily Prayer app has transformed a useful resource into something truly inspiring and enriching.

“So many people report how the blend of voices, music and silence enable them to feel part of a worldwide community of prayer, day-in, day-out.”

Paula Sullivan, from Burton-upon-Trent, who listens to the podcast, said: “I have used the Daily Prayer app for many years.

“At first it was about exploring what Christian faith might mean. During lockdown I found it a great support, it helped to give structure to my days and the sense of engaging with many others now and in the past who have gone through tough times.

“The addition of the audio has made it much easier to engage with and I have discovered the wonderfulness of the Psalms. I also use it to follow morning prayer from Derby Cathedral.”

So far, the Daily Prayer podcast has reached one million unique listeners, with around 8,000 listening every day. In total there have now been five million downloads since its launch in March 2020.

Daily Prayer is one of a series of prayer and discipleship apps and podcasts available from the Church of England, including 'Time to Pray', which won Gold for Best Use of Audio at the 2021 Digital Impact Awards.

More information

  • Daily Prayer audio, which is also integrated into the free Daily Prayer app from Church House Publishing, was launched in March 2021
  • The Daily Prayer app has been used over seven million times in the last 12 months – double the figure of 3.5 million for the same period in 2019 (pre-Covid).
  • The audio is available via the Daily Prayer app as well as on all major podcasting platforms
  • It has been accessed five million times by more than one million unique listeners (defined by the number of unique IP addresses that have downloaded the podcast) since its launch
  • Since its launch there have been over 1,000 unique services or episodes
  • Over 17 hours of music – some 250 individual pieces of music – have been specially recorded for the podcast by St Martin’s Voices
  • 77 per cent of the Daily Prayer listener base is in the UK, with the remaining 23 per cent international (including 12.5 per cent from the US)
  • 82.5 per cent of listeners listen on mobile devices

Further feedback on the Daily Prayer podcast:
“It’s a game-changer. Whether praying the daily offices alone or with others; reading or listening; in church, at home, online or on the move; having everything in one place helps you to pray without the distraction of all those books and bookmarks. On my day off, I listen to the podcast version while out running - perfect start to the day. Using the audio, the familiar voices have become like prayer partners. The musical additions from St Martin’s Voices are a lovely bonus. Thank you C of E digital!"
Revd Rachel Phillips, Team Rector of Dunstable 

 “As a self-supporting priest with a secular job involving long and unpredictable hours I have found the Daily Prayer app absolutely invaluable. My work involves a lot of reading and screen time so I particularly welcomed the introduction of audio to the app.  As well as reducing the reading required, it has meant the ability sometimes to listen and join in whilst commuting, and the glorious music and spoken readings have greatly enhanced the prayer experience for me. I am grateful too for how much it helped a much loved late friend during the later stages of her illness.”  
Revd Jane Walker, Manchester 
“The Daily Prayer app is incredibly useful and brilliantly simple to use. Whether praying alone at home or in my car, or with others in a small gathering or large, the Daily Prayer app makes communal prayer readily accessible. I love especially that the Bible readings are integrated and the optional acclamations, prayers, and canticles are easy to access without losing my place. The rubrics are so clear that anyone new to Daily Prayer can easily follow or lead.”
Ven Jennifer McKenzie, Virginia, US 
“The Daily Prayer app has become indispensable to my routine of prayer. Its accessible because it bypasses the need for bookmarks or lectionaries and so is a great way of introducing new people to Daily Prayer. You can use it anywhere. I've used it when travelling and even on a beach. When I don't feel like praying I can still play the prayers on the audio function. This is one of the most used apps on my phone and a great tool.”
Revd Dom Wright, Solihull