Building on the very positive feedback and huge amount of diocesan and local church engagement in #FollowTheStar 2018, we are delighted to be using the same theme for Advent and Christmas 2019 and 2020 as well!
Here’s a checklist of five things your church can do to prepare this year:
✅ Update your A Church Near You pages with your Advent and Christmas services and events
A Church Near You receives more than 12 million page views each year and 81 per cent of people who come to the site are first time visitors, so there is a huge opportunity to use the site to encourage local church attendance. We’re thrilled that there are now more than 16,300 church editors.
Make sure you tag your services with ‘#FollowTheStar’ as well as ‘Christmas’, ‘mince pies’ ‘mulled wine’, ‘Advent’ and ‘Christmas carols’ as appropriate.
✅ Order the new #FollowTheStar: Twelve days of Christmas wonder booklet or leaflet and download the app when it launches
Written by Revd Mina Munns, the new Church House Publishing reflections journey invites you to experience the wonder and excitement of the Wise Men’s journey as they travel towards Jesus. This year there are two resources available and they start on 25 December:
- The Follow the Star 2019 booklet offers a brand-new reflection for each of the twelve days of Christmas with a short Bible passage, a simple prayer and a challenge..
- The Follow the Star 2019 leaflet is for churches who wish to promote the campaign to large groups of people. It contains a short challenge for each day plus QR codes linking to the full reflections on the #FollowTheStar app.
As in previous years, we will also be making the reflections available as daily e-mails and a free app with full audio. There will also be family craft activities linked to each day’s theme.
In addition, we will be providing content in Advent through our social media channels, with weekly themes and daily carol reflections.
✅ Download and buy posters, logos, prayer cards, bookmarks and other resources
We have again partnered with CPO on a range of high quality, affordable stationery and publicity resources that can be bought on the Church Print Hub website. In addition, free digital resources are available on our website.
✅ Use our new Christmas videos and brand-new customisable video tool to help your church promote its services and events
We’ll be sharing more details on this brand-new video tool which will allow your church to produce customisable videos to share in church and on your social media accounts. The aim is to help encourage people to come to your local services and events. We will also be releasing a range of new video adverts for you to use throughout December. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more.
✅ Display a star on your church building – and tag this on A Church Near You
The bigger and more visible the better! If you don’t have one, CPO have a limited number available to buy. Don’t forget to tag that your church has a large star displayed on A Church Near You and share a photo of it on social media using #FollowTheStar.
Here is a link to the Christmas presentation if you would like to use at PCC meetings and other church events.
Please do use our feedback form to share any comments or questions you may have.
Our hope and prayer is that #FollowTheStar allows people across the country and Diocese in Europe to take the life-changing Advent and Christmas journey this year.
Church of England Communications