The service will be streamed on the Church of England’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels at 9am on Sunday December 13 as part of a partnership between the Children’s Society and the Church of England.
Participants will include the Duchess of Gloucester, Royal President of The Children’s Society, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is sharing a message of support along with the charity’s Vice-Chair of Trustees, the Bishop of Derby, Libby Lane, and the Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek.
Joanna Forest, the classical soprano, will sing an arrangement of ‘Light of the World’. She will join young people including pupils from schools in Gloucester and Canterbury lighting Christingles.
Mark Russell, Chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Little did we know that 2020 was going to see a challenge unlike any other experienced before.
“Christingle is such an important time for us, and we truly feel that it is needed this year more than ever.
“Working in partnership with The Church of England, we are delighted we have been able to make our traditional Christingle service happen online.
“It is set to be a spectacular service.”
In his contribution, the Archbishop of Canterbury will also highlight the importance of Christingle celebrations, and share insight on what taking part in the service means for so many children across England in need of our help and how Christingle is so important.
The Duchess of Gloucester, will address how Christingle services provide vital support to The Children’s Society every year, and praise the new and creative ways in which services are taking place across the UK this December.
She will also send a heartfelt message to communities that however the celebrations take place, she hopes they will be a joyful occasion for all.
Bishop Libby said: “Christingle this year will look very different, with many like this one happening online.
“And although we can't gather in person, through the wonders of technology it is a privilege to be able to share the Good News of the light and hope of Jesus who always shines in the darkness.”
The charity says Covid 19 restrictions this year have heightened the dangers facing vulnerable children, leaving many trapped at home, isolated from family, friends and support and in some cases at increased risk of loneliness, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Joanna Forest said: “In a year where so many of us have missed music and have been unable to attend places of worship, it is wonderful to be part of this service for The Children’s Society.
“The charity does amazing work for children and young people, many who are so vulnerable. “To be able to support such an important cause, and to keep the light of Christingle burning has been a real honour. I hope people enjoy the service and the song.”
Bishop Rachel said: “Schools and families across the country look forward to joining in with the annual Christingle service.
“It’s an exciting celebration of our Christian faith which engages our senses and invites us into the mystery of God’s love.
“As we touch and taste the goodness of the Christingle we pray that through the amazing work of The Children Society, children and young people in a place of struggle will experience God’s hope and love in their own lives.”
Despite being in various lockdown tiers across the UK, The Children’s Society, in partnership with The Church of England, is hoping that this year’s online Christingle service will still be one of the biggest and brightest yet. You can register here to join in with the whole country and spread the light.