As Archbishop Justin Welby says in his introduction to the reflective guide we’ve produced called #GodWithUs – Your Christmas Journey: “The constant refrain of Christmas, in carols and readings, is that God is with us. In whatever situations you find yourself this Christmas, God is with you – you need only turn to him and ask to know his presence”.
This year’s campaign has three key elements:
- Three videos that tell the story of the joy of going to your local church at Christmas, which will be released throughout December on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
- The new A Church Near You – our national church finder – which will point people to a Christmas service or event taking place in one of the 16,500 Church of England churches. This will launch in November 2017. Find out more in this recently published blog.
- Your Christmas Journey, a series of short reflections throughout December and into early January 2018, introduced by Archbishop Justin Welby. The reflections have been written by soul[food] for people who are new to faith and to help us all grow in our love of God. People can receive the messages as texts, emails, on social media and Church House Publishing have produced a booklet which would be ideal for churches to give to those attending Advent and Christmas services
We’ll be running a targeted social media campaign to drive attendance and engagement with the above.
How can you and your church get involved? We had such fantastic involvement and engagement from churches and dioceses last year, which made the campaign a success and helped us reach 1.5 million people. The aim is to repeat that this year, so here are five simple ways you can help out:
- Access church Christmas resources (including posters) by going to visiting our Christmas pages
- Share the content we post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the months ahead and throughout December.
- Order copies of the Your Christmas Journey reflections from Church House Publishing to give out to those attending an event or service at your church during Advent and Christmas. We’ve already sent more than 18,000 copies of the booklet to clergy in their mailing for churches to see an example.
- Sign up and get your friends and family to join the Your Christmas Journey reflections by texting GodWithUs to 88802.
- And if you are an editor on A Church Near You, our national church finder that receives 13 million page views per year, please go in and update your Christmas service information.
We’re hoping to see a record number of people visit a Church of England church this Christmas, and our prayer is that the #GodWithUs campaign will help play its part in achieving this. Please do comment on this blog to share your thoughts, comments and questions.
The work of the Digital Communications team is part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.
Head of Digital Communications at the Church of England