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GOD WITH US

The 'A Church Near You' website is about to be relaunched to allow all kinds of events other than services to appear. ACNY contains information about parish churches and the services and events that take place there. Don't forget to upload all the details of your Christmas services and events to the website to which every church has access and which many people use to find a church to visit during Advent and Christmas.

It's a great help to visitors to have accurate information about the churches they might want to visit. Many parishes that have added information to A Church Near You have noticed an increase in visitor numbers.

#JoyToTheWorld

#JoyToTheWorld, last year’s national Christmas campaign, won gold at Communicate Magazine’s Digital Impact Awards, and this year's campaign #GodWithUs is now well underway.

As Archbishop Justin Welby says in his introduction to the reflective guide called #GodWithUs – Your Christmas Journey: “The constant refrain of Christmas, in carols and readings, is that God is with us. In whatever situations you find yourself this Christmas, God is with you – you need only turn to him and ask to know his presence”.

This year’s campaign has three key elements:

Three videos that tell the story of the joy of going to your local church at Christmas, which will be released throughout December on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The new A Church Near You – our national church finder – which will point people to a Christmas service or event taking place in one of the 16,500 Church of England churches. This will launch in November 2017.
Your Christmas Journey, is a series of short reflections throughout December and into early January 2018, introduced by Archbishop Justin Welby. The reflections have been written by soul[food] for people who are new to faith and to help us all grow in our love of God. People can receive the messages as texts, emails, on social media and Church House Publishing have produced a booklet which would be ideal for churches to give to those attending Advent and Christmas services – find out more here.

How can you and your church get involved?

We had such fantastic involvement and engagement from churches and dioceses last year, which made the campaign a success and helped us reach 1.5 million people. The aim is to repeat that this year, so here are five simple ways you can help out:

Access church Christmas resources (including posters) by going to www.churchofengland.org/christmas.
Share the content we post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the months ahead and throughout December.

Order copies of the Your Christmas Journey reflections from Church House Publishing to give out to those attending an event or service at your church during Advent and Christmas.

Sign up and get your friends and family to join the Your Christmas Journey reflections by texting GodWithUs to 88802.

And if you are an editor on A Church Near You, our national church finder that receives 13 million page views per year, please go in and update your Christmas service information.

We’re hoping to see a record number of people visit a Church of England church this Christmas, and our prayer is that the #GodWithUs campaign will help play its part in achieving this.