The Diocese of Chester is pleased to be supporting #FollowTheStar, the national Advent and Christmas campaign from the Church of England. The Bishops of Chester, Birkenhead and Stockport are encouraging churches to take up the initiative, they say:
“We commend this national campaign and encourage clergy and church leaders in the Diocese of Chester to consider using it as a resource this Christmas. It has been put together to be accessible and attractive and has been designed particularly, but not exclusively, with children and young families in mind. We all know that people for whom church is perhaps unfamiliar, enjoy the sense of wonder and joy that Christmas brings. This resource captures that sense of expectation and possibility and could be delivered alongside a local programme of church services and events to create opportunities for many to have a more meaningful and memorable Christmas.”
Here are five ways in which your church can get involved:
- Order the #FollowTheStar: A Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas booklets. The booklets are available individually and in bulk-savings packs for congregations and visitors to your church to use. View a sample copy and buy copies from Church House Publishing. From late November 2018, users can sign up to receive the daily reflections by e-mail and through an Android or iOS app.
- Download and buy posters, logos and other resources. A range of resources can be bought on the Church Print Hub website. In addition, digital resources can be found on the Church of England website.
- Update your church page on A Church Near You! The site receives more than 10 million page views each year and 50% more services and events were listed last year than the year before on the website. Make sure you tag your services with ‘FollowTheStar’ as well as ‘Christmas’, and ‘Christmas carols’ as appropriate.
- 'Star Churches', why not join in and prominently display a star on your church. The bigger and more visible the better. If possible, illuminate at night and share on social media on Friday 21st December to be part of the ‘night of the stars’. More details will follow on this in the weeks ahead.
- Share your Advent and Christmas videos and social media posts through your local church social media account using the hashtag #FollowTheStar.
Here is a link to the full Christmas presentation if you would like to use it at PCC meetings and other church events.