San Anton is a 21st century church, weather you believe it or not excitedly embracing modern technology to make itself as welcoming as possible, to parishioners both of the human and animal variety.
When you visit, definitely you will ask questions:

It has recently rolled out a range of new technological measures, including free wifi, live-streams on huge wide screen televisions and a special confession App. Not content with pushing tech boundaries, the church is also unique in welcoming animals, encouraging visitors to bring their four-legged friends along to mass.

A sign outside the church declares free wifi, pets welcome and open 24 hours. Photo: Sara Houlison

The first thing that strikes you on entering the Catholic church are the signs proclaiming "free wifi", more at home in one of the barrio’s coffee shops than in a place of worship. The pews are surrounded by wide-screen televisions, when The Local visited, featuring a live-stream from Rome:

"We feature live-streams from the Vatican, religious films and reports," the church’s caretaker, holding a television remote control, told The Local.

One of the church’s tech highlights is an iPad app to help the deaf and hard of hearing go to confession. People can type out their confession and receive a typed answer from the priest, eliminating any embarrassment that could arise from having to shout.

The new technological measures were rolled out in the church last month, when the Archbishop of Madrid appointed the "Messengers of Peace" (Mensajeros de la Paz) foundation to handle the day to day running.

"The changes are part of a new attitude of openness, of welcoming people," Brother Marco, a Franciscan monk affiliated with the church, told The Local.

"We want people to feel welcome," he beamed. Read more

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