Discover resources to invite your community back to church this Christmas. The services and events will be specific to your community, but here you will find signposts to the national branding, reflections and more that will help you to invite people into your church – both online and onsite.
With the World Cup final taking place the last Sunday before Christmas and the change in traditions of families since the pandemic, having a more ‘normal’ Christmas will still mean we need to do some things differently.
Explore this year's Advent and Christmas resources in our webinar
Watch the webinar recording below
Our theme for 2022: Follow the Star – The Great Invitation
In line with feedback from dioceses and parishes, we are returning to the very popular Follow The Star branding used in two previous years to encourage people to attend their local church at Christmas and to take the next step on their journey of faith.
We will be developing new resources for 2022 which will work alongside material from previous years, with a focus on The Great Invitation - encouraging everyone to share the joy of gathering together to celebrate the birth of Jesus with their family, friends and neighbours - especially after two years where this has been impossible for many.
What are the key elements of the campaign?
As in previous years, the national Church has been working with dioceses and churches to make a range of digital and print content available, branded with the Follow the Star theme:
Follow The Star: The Great Invitation will consist of 12 reflections from a range of authors who will share personal stories exploring themes of invitation.
Starting on Christmas Eve and continuing daily (Monday to Saturday) until the Epiphany (6 January), these reflections will help you make space this Christmas. On each of the 12 days, a different contributor will share something that speaks of a Christmas invitation for them, bringing the theme to life through a mixture of personal story, Bible reading, reflection and challenge.
These reflections will also be made available freely via:
- app with accompanying resources for children and families
- the Church House Publishing booklet, along with other shareable print resources.
In early September, a free reflections poster will be available on this page (and via the AChurchNearYou.com Resource Hub) carrying information about all the ways the reflections can be accessed, and a QR code to download the app to listed to the reflections.
National online services for Advent and Christmas
In collaboration with a range of Christian charities and organisations, we will produce online services for the Sundays of Advent and Christmas. This will include an online service for each Sunday of Advent, The weekly online services have been very well received on social media and continue to attract a diverse audience including regular churchgoers, people exploring faith across a wide age range. They will all be broadcast on the Church's YouTube channel and Facebook page.
A reflections booklet and a range of other printed materials will be available this year via the Church House Publishing website.
Christmas in a Box
We want to encourage all our churches and all our churchgoers to invite their neighbours and their communities to an in person gathering this Christmastime where they can hear the Christmas story and be welcomed into the love of Jesus.
But what kind of gathering, and what about churches who feel they don’t have capacity to come up with something suitable? That’s where Christmas in a Box comes in.
Here you will find a small number of model services that you can take and make your own. There will be a traditional carol service, a less traditional all age service, and a scratch Nativity service – and that’s just for starters. Each service will include songs, readings, orders of service and invitations that you can customise and print. Because of the men’s football world cup final on Sunday 18 December, we would suggest holding Christmas services on another night – perhaps the 17 or 19 December. But if you would like to use the world cup final for mission, there will be some ideas on how to do that too.
Expect to see Christmas in a Box resources emerging during October. And then let’s follow the star and offer God’s Great Invitation this Christmas.
A Church Near You
List your onsite and online Advent and Christmas services on AChurchNearYou.com, using an Advent or Christmas tag. From the start of Advent, they will then appear on a special Christmas landing page, that we will be driving the public to via advertising and publications.
Last year, AChurchNearYou.com received 77 million page views, and 80 per cent of visitors were on the site for the first time.
By the start of Advent, the site also will carry a range of ‘Great Invitation’ features to help everyone invite family and friends:
- Improved ‘Share with a friend’ buttons on all events.
- If you share a Christmas event link from AChurchNearYou.com, the link preview will carry a “You’re invited” link preview graphic.
- Improved ‘Add to calendar’ functionality to make it easier for visitors to plan their services.
- Larger, clearer text options in the custom video generator and social media graphic generator, to help you invite people on social media (download on the AChurchNearYou.com Resource Hub)
- ‘Great Invitation’ Powerpoint slides to download for your own invitation messages (download on the AChurchNearYou.com Resource Hub).
Downloadable hymns will also be available on the Resource Hub, for all Church of England churches to use for free. We will be sharing music from across the traditions, available thanks to the partnership with St Martin-in-the-Fields and Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
- By the end of September, we will publish a track list of all the Christmas music that we will be providing on the Resource Hub
- All tracks available to download by end of October.
What to look out for...
- Webinars and blogs to help churches implement the resources
- Printed resources available to order from September
- Family resources will be available throughout Advent
- Full list of services, complete with themes and contributors to help with promotion
- Assets made available on the Resource Hub ahead of the campaign to allow churches time to plan
HEX - #E7AA22
RGB - R231 G170 B34
CMYK - C10 M36 Y93 K1
Pantone - 7409 C
HEX - #004874
RGB - R0 G72 B116
CMYK - C99 M70 Y30 K16
Pantone - 7693 C
- Abolition Soft
- Fira Sans Extra Light
The Abolition Soft font can be accessed through the Adobe Font package with a Creative Cloud license.
Alternatively, for a free similar font Teko can be used.
Please note all other resources and downloads will be made available via the A Church Near You Resource Hub.