Follow the Star: Join the Song
The Church of England are relaunching the very popular Follow the Star branding for 2023. This year’s theme – Follow the Star: Join the Song – highlights how singing can help draw us closer to God and each other through the journey from Advent to Epiphany.
Last December, Follow the Star saw significant growth in engagement across a wide range of indicators on social media and sign ups to reflections.
In the story of the first Christmas, the shepherds are astonished to find the night sky filled with countless voices singing God’s praise. Amazed as they are, the shepherds take up angel’s invitation and hurry to Bethlehem. And it isn’t long before the shepherds are singing, too, praising God and sharing the good news of Jesus’ birth. Centuries later, singing is still central to how millions of people celebrate the good news of Christmas. Singing and hearing carols can enable people of all ages to get in touch with the wonder and the truth of the Christmas story. Find out more here.
AChurchNearYou.com - this website includes a Resource Hub providing free adaptable content (such as customisable videos, images and approaches to online giving). The social media creator on ACNY is really easy to use and download graphics for your social media posts. Please also register all your Christmas services on the site here.
Online services and events - In collaboration with a range of Christian charities and organisations, the Church of England will produce online services throughout Advent and Christmas. Please share and re post content on your social media channels where possible available here.
Printed materials - Bookmarks, Christmas cards, banners, flyers, posters, booklets and other printed items will be made available for churches to purchase from Church House Publishing.
As per last year the resources for Inspiring Angels are available on our website. "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" Psalm 91:11.
Angels are a symbol of love, of presence, pointing the way to the moment it all changed, when God came in the person of Jesus to be with us in the world, to share in love and pain alongside us. Angels appeared to tell us about the birth of a baby in a manger. Angels sang, bursting with joy, to some shepherds, and told them, "Go and see!"
For more information please visit our webpage here.
Get creative: We have pulled together a series of resources to make Inspiring Angels as easy as possible You could try knitting angels, angels paper crafts, angel jars, angel prayers, and more. These resources will be great for use in Messy Church activities, for schools and other family projects in the home.
Instagram moments, last year a number of churches positioned large wings in public spaces to enable people to take photographs for social media. This is a fantastic idea to encourage engagement with everyone in your community.
Knitting pattern | Start Knitting
Paper Angel Strip | PDF
Angels Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids | ChildFun
Angels Watching Over Me Group Activities | Sermons4Kids
10 Angel Craft for Kids - Bible School Craft Ideas | Christianmontessorinetwork.com
Meaningful Chocolate Angels | Perfect for Messy Church, Cafe Church and other gatherings! From the Meaningful Chocolate Company
Logos for posters and flyers | The Inspiring Angels Suffolk, Church of England in Suffolk & Growing in God logos. All amendable for oyour use for event posters and flyers!
The Angel Gabriel Visits Mary - BRF | Bible Reading Fellowship - video and resources
Growing in God Growth Fund grants are available for your church’s Christmas festivities!
The diocesan Growing in God Growth Fund is open again offering grants to help you and your church reach out creatively to encourage sharing of the Christian faith and so grow our church family in number. Supporting projects such as Christmas goody bags, Christmas boxes, angel crafts, prayer trees and church displays. Grants of up to £1,500 are available, for more information and the application form please visit our page here.
LecDeck Year C
LecDeck is a lectionary-based youth discipleship resource which was launched in 2019 as a joint venture between the Diocese of Bristol and the Go Team at the Diocese of Bath and Wells. It is available as a pack of cards and app for Android or Apple devices. The third pack of cards is now available for Lectionary Year C which begins on Advent Sunday. Buy LecDeck cards from their website shop here or download the app for Android/Apple iOS from your app store here.
If you are thinking of holding a virtual Christingle service everything you need to know is here. Christingle services usually take place between Advent and Candlemas, with Christmas Eve the most popular time to celebrate.
If you are thinking about how you’re going to fundraise see how you can join in with The Children's Society here.
For further information
Christmas services in our Diocese | Weblink
Church of England Christmas | Weblink