The goose is getting fat. Are you prepared?

Author: Michele O'Keefe

Published on: 13 June 2019

Christmas time encourages more than double the regular number of people to attend services in our churches, so why do we need to do anymore to reach out to the community?

Just think how many more people you could meet if you did things a little differently and took the church to the people, rather than just hope they come through the door.

By thinking about offering one or two extra events or gatherings either inside your church or at alternative locations that are important within your community, you could bring new faces into your church and make them feel part of your wider church community.

Do something different both inside and outside of your building:

  • Nativity Scene Event – engaging with local youth groups and schools to create a scene, then hold a celebration service inviting all the entrants and their families
  • Alternative Christmas Tree Festival – use the parish newsletter or local community magazine to invite local societies, interest groups and local businesses as well as the congregation to decorate a small Christmas tree in a way to share a message and then have a coffee morning or evening get-together to view the entries, explore the messages and spend time together at an informal gathering
  • Beer & Carols at the pub – everyone likes to have a singsong and Christmas Carols are a great way to get people to join in. Make sure you have a song sheet and use taped music if there is no opportunity for live accompaniment
  • Christmas “Bake Off” – following on from the success of the TV series, host a competition and invite entries for best decorated cake (that they take home again) and best mince pies, that are shared with everyone who attends the event
  • New Year Service in an alternative location – by promoting a New Year Service at all your December events, you can capitalise on the new contacts that have been made.

By holding alternative events and using alternative venues, it gives a chance for the community to join in and find God in a different place.

You can contact Michele on 01603 882325 or

The author...

Michele O’Keefe

Synodical, Pastoral and Executive Support Officer

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