Ship of Fools (website)

Ship of Fools is a UK-based Christian satirical website.

Ship of Fools
Ship of Fools logo.gif
Type of site
Christian online magazine
Available inEnglish
Created bySimon Jenkins and Stephen Goddard Edit this at Wikidata
Alexa rank1,072,676 worldwide
288,813 in the United States[1]
RegistrationRegistration required only to use internet forums
Launched1 April 1998; 21 years ago (1998-04-01)
Current statusActive


Ship of Fools was first launched as a magazine in 1977. The magazine folded in 1983 and was resurrected as an internet magazine website and bulletin board system community forum in 1998. Subtitled "the magazine of Christian unrest", Ship of Fools pokes fun and asks critical questions about the Christian faith. The site is part magazine and part web community.[2]


Ship of Fools was founded and is edited by Simon Jenkins (editor) and Stephen Goddard (co-editor). Jenkins is an author, designer and cartoonist from London (not to be confused with Sir Simon Jenkins, former Editor of The Times and author of England's Thousand Best Churches). Goddard is a journalist and public relations consultant; both have formal theological education. They also perform a show, Ship of Fools Live, in churches, universities and elsewhere, with excerpts from the site's magazine content. The show toured in the United States in February 2004.


The website presents itself as ecumenical/pan-Christian, although the prevailing ethos is English-speaking Trinitarian Christianity. The diversity of the users range from complete atheists to evangelical and liberal Christians.

Notable features of Ship of Fools website are:

  • "The Mystery Worshipper"[3] – reports on church services made by anonymous worshippers. The intention is to give feedback on how they appear to outsiders and first-time visitors.
  • "Gadgets for God" – kitsch Christian-based products on the internet.
  • "Features & Projects" – irregular columns and a range of projects including "R Father" (2001 competition for rewriting the Lord's prayer as a text message[4]) and "St Pixels" (see below).
  • Discussion boards – debate and discussion amongst registered members, who are known as ("shipmates").

"Church of Fools", an online 3D interactive church, ran as a multi-user 3D environment from May to September 2004,[5][6] and as a single-user environment since that date. The Church of Fools has now renamed itself St Pixels.[7]

Other ActivitiesEdit

Ship of Fools sometimes leaves the internet for the real world. There are frequent "Shipmeets" where shipmates get together at different locations around the world. Ship of Fools also ran a Ned Flanders Night at the Christian festival Greenbelt.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  2. ^ "The internet according to the Church of England" BBC 3 November 1999
  3. ^ "Mystery reviewers visit churches" BBC 24 April 2005
  4. ^ "Is txt mightier than the word?", BBC 4 March 2003
  5. ^ "Glimpse inside the virtual church" BBC News 13 April 2004
  6. ^ "In cyberspace, can anyone hear you pray?" BBC News 12 May 2004
  7. ^ "Glory be to God online" Church Times 20 April 2007

Further readingEdit

  • Jenkins, Simon (2002). R Father N Hvn: Up 2 D8 Txts Frm d Bible. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22598-8.

External linksEdit