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Follow the Star for "a real community event"

by Michael Ford last modified 15 Jan, 2020 01:54 PM

The Church of England's "#FollowTheStar" campaign has proved extremely popular in our Diocese.

The camapign which invited churches and communities to travel in the footsteps of the wise men to meet Jesus over the 12 days of Christmas, ended on Epiphany Sunday, January 6th and was accompanied by a booklet or online download containing 14 reflections.

Following on from the success of the theme of "Follow the Star", many of our churches made the star central to much of their outreach over the festive period.

One such Church was St Candida and Holy Cross Church, in Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset. Here they not only decorated the church with stars, but their wider village as well.

Ros Woodbridge, who runs the Short and Sweet Family service at the "Cathedral in the Vale", takes up the story:

"This year our Christmas Short & Sweet had Stars as its theme. It was very much a hands on service for the congregation, who ranged from a few months to over 80’s.

Follow the Star for 'a real community event'- craft table

"As everyone arrived, they were given a star to decorate which was then made into a paper chain. The story of the Wise Men who followed a star was told through the eyes of a camel. After we had shared stories of our own precious stars, we attempted to create stars to decorate the church.

"The challenge was to make 30 recycled brown paper bag stars, kindly designed by Claire Colby, which then decorated the ends of the pews ready for the Carol Service. We also decorated stars with sparkly and coloured card recycled from old crackers! These were then put at the entrance to the church.

Follow the Star for 'a real community event'- decorating biscuits

"Finally there were star biscuits to decorate which the children took home to eat and a Christmas bauble book (from SPCK) to hang on their trees. The display in the children’s corner also featured stars awhich had been designed and made by Belle Roberts as part of her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

"To make this a real community event, the team asked friends and neighbours to put stars in their windows, door, hedges etc to make Whitchurch twinkle.

"It was the first year we had attempted this and great to go Carol Singing round the village and suddenly see the stars appear!" Ros said.

"Next year our theme is the donkey’s journey – it will be interesting to think about how we do this. Perhaps Mary, Joseph and the donkey travelling around the village or a real live donkey coming to the service. Who knows!"

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