After years of uncertainty, restrictions and lockdowns within the pandemic, Church of England church buildings throughout the nation are on the point of welcome individuals via their doorways this Christmas and a brand new video has been launched with the message that everybody is invited.
Many Church of England church buildings have historically loved giant turnouts at their Creation and Christmas companies and they’re hoping that this yr will probably be no exception.
‘The Great Invitation’ is aimed toward individuals who have by no means attended church.
It follows a lady via many Christmases over the course of her life and the methods she has been supported by her native church, from showing in a nativity play as a baby to getting married, experiencing bereavement and different main life occasions.
The video ends with the message, “Wherever you’re on life’s journey, you are invited to church this Christmas.”
It’s being launched as a part of the Church of England’s Christmas ‘Comply with the Star – the Nice Invitation’ marketing campaign and can run throughout its Instagram, TikTok, Fb and Twitter accounts.
After the challenges of Covid and now a value of dwelling disaster pushing many individuals to the brink financially, the Bishop of Ripon, Helen-Ann Hartley, stated it was about letting individuals know that the Church is there for them.
“The message of this yr’s Christmas marketing campaign, could not be easier: we’re there for you – in each group in England, and in our congregations throughout Europe and past,” she stated.
“Individuals have discovered the previous few years very troublesome and my prayer is that by coming collectively in worship this Christmas, we will discover renewed hope and inspiration.
“Church buildings and chaplaincies throughout the nation are on the point of welcome you. From nativities for all of the household, to moments of reflection for these discovering it troublesome. Check out A Church Near You to listen to once more the hope that the start of Jesus Christ presents to everybody.”
Resources have been produced by the Church of England to assist church buildings welcome individuals this Christmas. They embrace a “plain English” explainer on what people can expect and social media graphics, Christmas playing cards, and carols to obtain and play.
The theme of bereavement touched upon within the video will function once more in a particular “Blue Christmas” service led by the Archbishop of York on Sunday 18 December, and on Christmas Day, an online gathering will probably be held for anybody feeling alone.
Amaris Cole, the Church of England’s Head of Digital, stated: “Our Creation and Christmas marketing campaign this yr has a transparent message – you’re welcome to have fun with us and are invited to certainly one of our companies.
“There is no such thing as a doubt that the final two Christmases have been extremely troublesome, with gatherings and companies restricted by Covid-19.
“So we have labored on assets to assist church buildings concern the Nice Invitation to their communities this December and welcome individuals again in – or to attend for the very first time.
“The Church of England’s social channels will probably be sharing messages of invitation, useful posts that specify companies and traditions to these contemplating church for the primary time, and a variety of well-known faces sharing their favorite Christmas reminiscences of church.
“Wherever you’re, we hope to have fun with you this yr. Discover your native companies and occasions at AChurchNearYou.com.”
The Rev Steve Brief, Rector of St Michael and St Mary’s, Melbourne in Derbyshire, one of many places used within the video, spoke concerning the significance of invitation.
“Comply with the Star is implausible anyway, however tying that in with The Nice Invitation is actually impactful: it brings collectively Christmas and back-to-church Sunday,” he stated.
“Analysis exhibits that individuals simply need to be invited to issues, simply as we’re invited to comply with Christ.
“The assets supplied are very useful, and the imaginative and prescient will attain many. It has been an actual privilege to be concerned on this. Thanks for giving our church buildings a platform.”