We have gathered together a whole host of local and national Advent and Christmas resources and initiatives in one place for easy viewing and engagement by parishes.
We will add to it and update it with more helpful material as we get closer to Christmas as well as featuring updates from our parishes.
You can access the full page here and when you reach the page there are handy 'fast links in the grey panel at the top to take you straight to what you need.
There are links to helpful videos; resources for young people; our wonderful new Advent Devotional; how to engage with and be part of the national online digital campaign 'At The Heart of Christmas' (more about this campaign below) reminders about using A Church Near You; an online Advent calendar; prayer and worship resources and much more.
There is also information about upcoming online material from our Diocese closer to Christmas including the Bishops' annual Christmas Messages and our online service for Christmas.
Visiting relatives in Lancashire? Looking for a church to attend over Christmas time? Or just haven't been for a while and you want to seek out some Christmas hope and cheer? Simple!
Visit the 'A Church Near You' website and put in your details to find a church nearby where you will be welcome to visit.
Inspired by readings from the Gospels of Luke and John read at so many Christmas services, At the heart of Christmas is an invitation to everyone to discover – or rediscover – the good news of God’s saving love as revealed in the birth of Jesus. It is also a challenge to each of us to ponder in our hearts – as Mary did – what the extraordinary events of the first Christmas might mean for us now and in the years ahead.
At the heart of Christmas is a deliberately simple and open theme – one that the national church hopes can be used by local churches to invite their communities to share in celebrating the good news of Christmas in a whole variety of ways.
In our Diocese we are joining with the national church in encouraging as many as possible to use the At The Heart of Christmas resources.
As in previous years, there is a range of digital and print content available, branded with the At the heart of Christmas theme:
At the heart of Christmas consists of 12 stories and meditations from Justin Welby, Stephen Cottrell and guests where they will share personal stories exploring themes close to the heart of Christmas.
Starting on Christmas Eve and continuing daily (Monday to Saturday) until the Epiphany (6 January), At the Heart of Christmas: 12 Days of stories and meditations for Christmas will help you make space for that exploration. On each of the twelve days, a different contributor will share something that lies close to the heart of Christmas for them, bringing the theme to life through a mixture of personal story, Bible reading, reflection and questions to ponder.
Bookmarks, prayer cards, family prayer cards and booklets are available for churches to purchase, as in previous years. Booklets are available as a single copy and booklets, bookmarks and prayer cards are all available in packs of 10 and 50. Booklets are also available in large print.
The A Church Near You resource hub will provide a range of free resources, such as customisable videos, social media graphics and approaches to online giving.
Downloadable hymns will also be available on the Hub for all Church of England churches to use for free, with music from across the traditions that churches can use as part of online and in-person services and events.
Watch this webinar and discover the range of invitational resources available to churches this year and tips for making the most of your digital presence at Christmas time. This webinar was live and has been recorded.
Ronnie Semley, December 2021