Your Christmas Journey is a series of reflections, in print and online, to help people take the journey through Advent, Christmas and into 2018. You can sign up by texting GodWithUs to 88802; via email; following the Church on social media; or buying a copy from Church House Publishing.
Archbishop Justin Welby writes: “#GodWithUs: Your Christmas Journey seeks to help you explore what the Christmas story might mean in your life. 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.”
The relaunched A Church Near You will point tens of thousands to services across the country by simply typing in the local postcode. This site receives more than 13 million page views throughout the year, with a spike in traffic in December.
In addition, three videos have been produced that will be released throughout December to showcase some of the many services that take place during Advent and Christmas. The first goes live today and focuses on Nine Lessons and Carols
The second shares the joy of children enjoying a Christingle service and the final a Christmas service. The videos will reach millions through social media advertising throughout December. They were all filmed at All Saints Church in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, said: “December is a very hectic month for many, but we know that millions of people across the country go to their local church for an Advent or Christmas service. This year’s #GodWithUs campaign seeks to share a Christian message from the national Church through three videos and a series of short, open and accessible reflections. We’ve been really encouraged with the response to the printed booklet and the digital resources will help us reach even more people.”
William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, said: “The #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas campaign is part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme. This is aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places. The campaign is just one example of how we’re engaging with people who might not go to church regularly and helping them start or strengthen their faith journey.”
Read a blog from Adrian Harris, Head of Digital Communications at the Church of England on the #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas campaign.
Your Christmas Journey reflections has been written by John Kiddle, Archdeacon of Wandsworth (@johnkiddle) and a member of the soul[food] team.
Emmanuel is a Hebrew name meaning ‘God with us’. The account of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Matthew quotes the Old Testament writings of Isaiah: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
A Church Near You is a church-finding tool that allows people to search for Church of England services, events and churches in their area. The website, which was relaunched this week after extensive research with 2,000 users, receives more than 13 million page views annually and is one of the Church’s most popular online resources.