an abundance of useful resources …
County Ecumenical Development Officers, Stuart and Caroline, have an abundance of useful resources which will help you find something that you can use personally or you may feel able to take on with your churches/congregations to connect with your wider community as we move towards Advent and Christmas 2020.  

Just a few excamples are:

Church of England’s 2020 focus this year – Comfort and Joy – Advent and Christmas 2020 Online services and events. – In collaboration with a range of Christian charities and organisations, we will produce nine online services throughout Advent and Christmas. This will include an online service for each Sunday of Advent, a Christingle with the Children’s Society, nine lessons and carols and midnight services. Charities involved include Christian Aid, Church Army, Embrace and Marie Curie. The online weekly services have been very well received on social media and continue to attract a diverse audience including regular churchgoers, people exploring faith and a wide age demographic.     Children’s Society – online and Socially Distanced Christingle ideas 2  

Roots on the web offer worship resources for adults, young people and children. During the pandemic are offering free access to resources. An ecumenical partnership (The Methodist Church, The National Society, The Church of England, The United Reformed Church, Christian Education, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Welsh Sunday School Council) – Building God’s family tree – a Jesse tree to decorate through Advent – Now – and then, reflecting on 2020 through the Christmas Story (five scenes and characters to help make connections with life during the pandemic. Download the resources here:   #GodIsWithUs Christmas Campaign 2020 The

Methodist Church-wide Christmas campaign in 2020 #GodIsWithUs seeks to share people’s stories about their walk with God in this extraordinary year. The campaign will offer the following content: • Shareable social media posts every day in Advent on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – these will contain a quote from the story of the day alongside a photo of the person who’s story it is. • A video released on 1st December on YouTube and shared on social media. This will be narrated by the 24 campaign participants and will simply show clips of each person. • Two campaign posters  Sets of postcards available for local churches to order (free, + P&P) to give out locally. NOW AVAILABLE TO PREORDER HERE. • A Worship at Home service for each Sunday in December and an extra service for Christmas Day, as well as a Worship at Home Christmas CD – coming soon. • A weekly prayer and reflection produced by JPIT – coming soon.   The materials ask questions which encourage Methodists and non-Methodists alike to consider their own story of faith in 2020 and to share it with one another or online. The postcards are designed to be posted to your friends, family, neighbours and communities. Please always stay safe and follow the Government Covid-19 guidelines when using these materials.  

Action for Children’s Starry Night – virtual Christmas carols. On Tuesday 8 December, join Action for Children and families across the UK for an evening of Christmas carols, fun and festive cheer hosted by Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow. Tickets are £10 per household and will give you access to exclusive entertainment, readings, and performances from celebrities including Angellica Bell and ‘Call the Midwife’’s Jenny Agutter. All this from the comfort of your own home. 3    

Bags of Blessings! Through Advent to Epiphany A Gift to the Churches for Advent 2020 and Beyond This little resource is a gift to you from a number of ordained women in Baptist ministry, throughout the UK, who have shared their ideas about how we can make Advent, Christmas and Epiphany really special for our churches, families and neighbours. The central idea is simple – to fill and deliver/post ‘Goody Bags’ to every household in our church, or our street, village or town. They could also be given to workers in care homes, health  care settings, or to hostels and shelters. We also offer some other ideas for multi-voiced/multi-participant Community Advent ‘calendars’ online, on your church notice board, in your church/home window, or indeed all of these! Lastly, we have identified some books that we have found helpful in the past, and which offer a variety of resources from daily prayer, to liturgy, to crafts. Downloadable resource available:  

Christmas Carols from The Big Sing The Northern Baptist Association (NBA) has made sound recordings during The Big Sing which form the basis of a set of resources for small churches and house groups. These combine live worship recording with Ian Britton’s photography and video footage. They are available to all churches that struggle sometimes with limited musical resources. Included within The Big Sing is a selection of Christmas carols which can be viewed on the NBA’s YouTube channel and used within online services. Click here to download these videos (and other traditional hymns).    

Jeff Lucas and Searchlight: Christmas all Wrapped Up A creative resource for the festive season. As all of their tours are now on hold for the foreseeable future Jeff Lucas and Searchlight have decided to join the great online migration of 2020 and professionally film some brand new material for churches to use over Advent. There will be four sketches from Searchlight and Jeff will be producing four devotional stories and a 25-minute Christmas message ‘The Hope That We All Need’. These can be used for online services, small groups and your church’s social media.   Mother’s Union – Faith in the Family resources – helping families explore their faith together in different and creative ways. Advent Prayer activity for the season of Advent. 4

If you woluld like to see more, please contact Paul -email [email protected]