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#FollowTheStar Returns

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Sep, 2019 06:19 PM

How can your church get ready for Advent and Christmas 2019 with #FollowTheStar?

Building on the very positive feedback and huge amount of diocesan and local church engagement in #FollowTheStar 2018, the Church of England will be using the same theme for Advent and Christmas 2019 and 2020.

The Cofe Communications Team has issued a checklist of 5 recommendations:

1. Update your A Church Near You pages with your Advent and Christmas services and events

The 'A Church Near You' search site receives more than 12 million page views each year and 81% of people who come to the site are first time visitors, so there is a huge opportunity to use the site to encourage local church attendance. There are already more than 16,300 church editors! Make sure you tag your services with ‘#FollowTheStar’ as well as ‘Christmas’, ‘mince pies’ ‘mulled wine’, ‘Advent’ and ‘Christmas carols’ as appropriate.

2. Order the new '#FollowTheStar: Twelve days of Christmas wonder' booklet or leaflet, and download the app when it launches

Written by Revd Mina Munns, this new publication invites you to experience the wonder and excitement of the Wise Men’s journey as they travel towards Jesus. This year there are two resources available, and they start on 25 December. The Follow the Star 2019 booklet (also in large print) offers a brand-new reflection for each of the twelve days of Christmas with a short Bible passage, a simple prayer and a challenge. The Follow the Star 2019 leaflet is for churches who wish to promote the campaign to large groups of people, with a short challenge for each day and QR codes linking to full reflections on the #FollowTheStar app. There will be bulk-saving packs from Church House Publishing. More here

3. Download and buy posters, logos, prayer cards, bookmarks and other resources.

CPO provides a range of high quality, affordable stationery and publicity resources that can be bought on the Church Print Hub website, and free digital resources are available on the CofE Christmas website.

4. Use the new Christmas videos and brand-new customisable video tool to help your church promote its services and events

The Team says: "We’ll be sharing more details on this brand-new video tool which will allow your church to produce customisable videos to share in church and on your social media accounts. The aim is to help encourage people to come to your local services and events. We will also be releasing a range of new video adverts for you to use throughout December. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more."

5. Display a star on your church building – and tag this on A Church Near You

The bigger and more visible the better! CPO has a limited number available to buy. Don’t forget to tag that your church has a large star displayed on A Church Near You, and share a photo of it on social media using #FollowTheStar.

Download a Christmas presentation for PCC meetings and other church events here

Share any comments or questions here

The Team adds: "Our hope and prayer is that #FollowTheStar allows people across the country and Diocese in Europe to take the life-changing Advent and Christmas journey this year."

Full story here

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