Be prepared for Christmas in a variety of ways
It seems a lifetime ago when I penned the article for PCC News last year, encouraging churches to hold services and events in a variety of ways so that communities could find God in different places.
This year with the uncertainty of where, how or even IF we can join together as churches, things feel very different and quite daunting as we start to prepare for the unknown at a time that has always felt so familiar and constant.
It feels that we need to have more than one plan in place this Christmas to ensure that we are prepared for our services inside the church building and also a plan to cater for those that want to join in from the safety of their home. Alternatively, in the worst-case scenario, a plan for everyone to join in from home using a virtual format to host our Christmas services.
During the pandemic we have picked up new people sitting in the ‘virtual pews’ and this coupled with the fact that Christmas is a time when communities flock to the church to hear the Christmas message of hope, we need to redouble our efforts to make sure that unchurched people understand how they can join Christmas services, by whatever format we are using and however best suits them to do so.
With guidelines constantly changing it is vital that we follow the government and Church of England’s latest advice, however, we need to start to be prepared and this will include the multi-media and multi-option approach to church this festive season.
Visit the Christmas Tree of Gifts on the diocesan website to help you plan a Christmas that will include everyone.
To help PCCs we have created a range of tools you can use when planning for Christmas 2020:
- A leaflet to engage with the community, to share the range of options available this Christmas that can be simply edited by parishes
- Information on how to add online giving opportunities to virtual services to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to offer financial support to the church and its mission and ministry
- Information on setting up contactless giving
- Inspirational podcasts that can be shared with members of the congregation and the wider community
- Recorded music that can be used during online services
- Recorded sung carols to use both online and as part of church services if singing is still prohibited.
Now more than ever it is vital that we are open to everyone that wants to access church, whether that be by physically opening the doors of our buildings or making church easy to access from home for those who are no longer able to come to our buildings. To grow the Kingdom, we need to ensure we welcome our communities to church; building on the lessons learnt during the pandemic and inspiring new opportunities as we move into a new year in 2021.
If Robert or I can be of further help, please do get in touch with us – we are here to help.
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