Hands holding a phone with the AR app showing in the Trinity Churchyard

New Augmented Reality Tours 'Open the World' at Trinity Church

QR code with red and gold emblem inside

A new Augmented Reality (AR) experience is now available at Trinity Church Wall Street, providing visitors an opportunity to take a closer look at features in the church, to explore their faith, and to learn about changemakers in the churchyard. To access the experience, visitors scan a QR code while onsite at Trinity Church to launch the tour. Within the app, one can take a closer look at the stories and features all around while reflecting on their faith and place in the community.

This app asks us questions. It's not just a history tour because we're just not a museum.

-The Rev. Michael Bird, Vicar

"Just scan the QR code with your phone, and then the world opens up," said the Rev. Michael Bird, Trinity's Vicar. "It's amazing. The whole story of the stained glass window outside, if the sun is shining against it and it's hard to see, you can hold up your phone and learn every last bit of it."

Thomas Denny Window
Photo by Colin Winterbottom

Indeed, the “Parable in Stained Glass,” which refers to the Thomas Denny-designed, Wall Street-facing window installed in 2022, delves into Matthew 25 and offers rich symbolism tied to the Parable of the Talents and Judgment of the Nations. Visitors are invited to zoom in on these scenes, taking a closer look at the artistry and lessons, while reflecting on their own talents and how they might best use them to improve the lives of others— those who are sick, or in prison, or hungry.

Screenshot of AR app red buttons to click while looking at Trinity Church's altar

Inside Trinity's nave, visitors can scan the large marble reredos and altar with the AR app. Scenes from Jesus's life that are depicted in the reredos are clickable, offering a closer look at the details that may otherwise be hard to see. Information about worship services and music concerts are also clickable, inviting visitors to the many opportunities to participate in parish life and to deepen their faith.

The third tour caters to the throngs of theatre and history buffs who flock to see the final resting places of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton each year. Now they have a way to further reflect on why we still tell these stories. The eight "Changemakers in the Churchyard" who are highlighted in the app all had a significant impact on their city, country, and industries. By considering how these famous people rose to the challenges of their time, visitors are prompted to similarly consider how they can make a difference: might they volunteer, vote, or learn through thought-provoking programming?

Screenshot of AR app and portrait of Alexander Hamilton

"This app asks us questions," added Bird. "It's not just a history tour because we're just not a museum. We're a church. We're a place of faith that asks us to reflect on what God is doing in our lives."

Trinity's AR app was developed in consultation with the Communications & Marketing Department, Information Technology, Trinity Archives, and other subject matter experts at Trinity. Digital agencies Forum One and Cortina Productions created the app using the WebAR platform 8th Wall, owned by Niantic Labs, known for its widely popular Pokemon Go app. 

More than a million visitors flock to Trinity's historic properties, such as Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel, each year. "We look forward to opening up who we are and honor those who have come before us to all our visitors," said Senior Website Manager Paul Brower, who led the project. "My hope is that we’ve provided an informative, reflective, and immersive experience, but also an interactive one, both within the web app and in conversation with our Trinity team. We welcome any feedback on the user experience as well as suggestions for future iterations."


Subscribe for Trinity Updates

Get information about Trinity Church Wall Street and our latest programming.