In this week's blog, we hear from Mossley Parish, a rural church on the edge of the Peak District, who tell us how the free church resources, along with the #FollowTheStar campaign, have made an impact.
As a parish, we’ve been delighted by the success of the #FollowTheStar campaign. In 2018, we displayed stars on the towers of our churches, and these were commented on and questions were asked by passers-by. We used the logo on all our publicity, tying in with the branding on A Church Near You, which we use as our primary website. We made use of the daily reflections on our Facebook page and these were regularly commented on and appreciated. With all our publicity on social media and A Church Near You, we saw more people attend our Christmas services, and a huge jump in page views on A Church Near You.
This year, we plan to make use of all the resources available for #FollowTheStar. We will display the light-up stars again and make the reflections widely available on our social media. We’ve enhanced our A Church Near You pages by adding our services and events and turning on the Christmas branding. We are grateful for the introduction of the poster backgrounds, which have enabled us to produce high-quality posters and advertising, again using the #FollowTheStar logo. We will be getting our community involved by displaying stars in their windows and asking them to send in pictures to feature on our social media. We will be producing our Christmas service poster as a leaflet so that these can be used for invitations across our community.
As a parish with very limited resources, and as a priest with very limited creative ability, I hugely appreciate these professionally produced resources made freely available to us. Now, we can produce high-quality advertising and join in with a national programme that identifies us with the wider Church of England and a powerful Christmas message.
#FollowTheStar is an accessible, useable tagline, which has encouraged many conversations. The Christmas story of the shepherds and magi following the star to find Jesus has resonated powerfully here, and has enabled conversations and invitation, without this being seen to be overly ‘churchy', though it’s very definitely based in exactly what we as Christians are called to be and to do - we are called to be a people who follow the star to the find the meaning, the source and the goal of our lives as followers of the child of Bethlehem.
Rev David Warner
Vicar of Mossley