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#FollowTheStar Christmas 2018

#FollowTheStar, the Church of England’s national Advent and Christmas campaign for 2018, is inviting people across the country to experience the Christmas journey this year.

The main aim with #FollowTheStar is to encourage people into a local church service or event to share in the joy of Jesus’ birth.

Here are five ways in which your church can get involved:

  1. Order the #FollowTheStar: A Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas booklets. The resource has been written by The Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley and features a welcome from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The booklets are available individually and in bulk-savings packs for congregations and visitors to your church to use. From late November 2018, users can sign up to receive the daily reflections by e-mail and through an Android or iOS app.
  2. Download and buy posters, logos and other resources. A range of resources can be bought on the Church Print Hub website. In addition, digital resources can be found on the CofE website.
  3. Update your church page on A Church Near You! The site receives more than 10 million page views each year and 50% more services and events were listed last year than the year before on the website. Make sure you tag your services with ‘FollowTheStar’ as well as ‘Christmas’, ‘mince pies’ ‘mulled wine’, ‘Advent’ and ‘Christmas carols’ as appropriate.
  4. Become a ‘star church’ simply by displaying a star prominently. The bigger and more visible the better. If possible, illuminate at night and share on social media on Friday 21 December to be part of the ‘night of the stars’. More details will follow on this in the weeks ahead - there are some hints and tips on making your star on the Church of England website.
  5. Get involved with the social media push by sharing your own (and others’) videos/photos and tagging with #FollowTheStar.

Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu say:

“For many of us, Christmas brings up so many emotions, memories and expectations. We have one nativity story, but it can seem like we all have very different Christmases. For you it might be a time of joy and togetherness. Or perhaps it’s all about planning and to-do lists. Many others can find it a sad and lonely time – nagged by the feeling that your Christmas is not like those ‘perfect’ ones we see in the media. But just like the unexpected assortment of people who were invited to meet the baby Jesus, #FollowTheStardoesn’t ask you to be perfect. It says: come just as you are to take the life-changing Christmas journey."