This film is part of Free

Dial A Prayer

Join the dial-a craze and receive spiritual comfort from the comfort of your own home.

News 1964 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


What did worshippers do before YouTube? Call the prayer hotline of course. The Dial-a craze began in the mid 50s with electronic secretaries (tape recorders) providing pre-recorded words of spiritual comfort. From 1955 churches in the UK and US opened their prayer lines with slogans like “you can save your soul right at home”. It didn’t stop there soon you could dial-a-sermon, dial-a-hymn, or even dial-a-saint but it would be at least a decade before you could dial-a-joke.

As technology has continued to change so have innovations in prayer services. Christians can now use an email prayer request line, download audio sermons or watch prayers and Church services on YouTube. RTÉ continues to broadcast the Angelus every day in Ireland; although it has been revamped as “a pause for prayer” since it began on radio in 1950. The prayer hotline shown in these silent news rushes is possibly associated with the Seventh Day Adventist church in Northern Ireland. This material is Courtesy of the UTV Archive.