Experience #JoyToTheWorld at Christmas services taking place in Church of England churches around the country.
Experience the joy of Christmas with the Church of England
1 December 2016
Today the Church of England launches its #JoyToTheWorld Christmas campaign with www.AChristmasNearYou.org and four special videos.
Over 27,000 services and events, ranging from the contemporary to traditional carols and nativity stories, have been added to a new website that enables the public to enter their postcode and find Christmas services and events happening near them.
Smartphone users will also be able to geo-locate the nearest services and add a reminder to their calendar. So far more than 2,300 congregations are providing mulled wine and 3,500 sharing mince pies after services.
In addition to the www.AChristmasNearYou.org website, there are four videos being released throughout December, each one sharing a moment of true Christmas joy. The short films star Gogglebox vicar Revd Kate Bottley, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Becoming Revered author Revd Matt Woodcock and comedian Paul Kerensa.
Underpinning the launch of the campaign will be a targeted nationwide social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter to encourage the public to share Christmas #JoyToTheWorld.
Speaking about her moment of Christmas joy from her former church in East London, Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin said:
"Mine has got to be at the very end of the Midnight Mass then we hear the words 'Yea, Lord we greet thee' - our first acknowledgment that Christmas has now arrived.
"Most Sundays people rush home to their rice and peas and dinner but we mingle, we stop and we greet each other and it's a wonderful moment. The Christmas Mass has got people attending who you wouldn't normally see and we get to pass on this Christmas joy."
Watch Rose's film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFjyw_njzvg
Commenting on the launch of the new website, Revd Arun Arora, Director of Communications at the Church of England, said:
"We think a perfect Christmas includes a Church Christmas. No matter how good the dinner or how expensive the present, a deeper joy is to be found in Church at Christmas.
"Whether it's midnight mass, a nativity play, a carol service of the joy of welcoming the Christ child on Christmas day, the best kind of Christmas involves a visit to Church."
Visit www.AChristmasNearYou.org to find out more.
Church of England parishes across the country can get still involved by uploading their services to www.AChristmasNearYou.org/upload and also by sharing their moments of joy on social media using the hashtag #JoyToTheWorld.
Notes to Editors:
Stills of Rose Hudson Wilkin, Rev Kate Bottley and Rev Matt Woodock are attached