Christmas across New Ground

In Hastings, King’s Church is running three events, seeking to attract different groups of people to each. They are starting with A Family Celebration of Christmas. The meeting will include carols, a Christmas themed talk, children’s activities and a performance by children from the Move. dance classes, an initiative run by King’s which provides free dance classes to both children and adults.

The second event, Carols in Coffee Box, hosted in the church’s coffee shop, is designed to serve the 20s and 30s of Hastings. The event will be held in the round with carols, a spoken word, dance and short talk. The meeting is followed by a Christmas market with international food, a photo booth and live music.

The season of events will be concluded with Carols by Candlelight, a traditional carol service. At all three events, those interested in finding out more will be invited to attend an Alpha event in January. King’s are also partnering with local charity Surviving Christmas by providing around 170 gift-boxes for children and the elderly.

Crown Church Hillingdon are hosting their annual Sing Out event, where choirs from local primary schools each perform a few songs. This is a great way for the church to serve the community and engage with the people around them.  They are also hosting a Christmas concert called Christmas Stories in which they will share with people the true story of Christmas. Alongside these events, the church have been involved in Operation Christmas Child, providing 100 gift-boxes to be distributed to children across the world and helping to check 200 boxes and pack another 800 into cartons for shipping.

In Oxted, King's Church are in the middle of a series of events called Super Six. They started with an invite week at the end of November, during which they were inviting friends, relatives and colleagues to their Christmas events and distributing as many flyers as they could. They have held a wreath-making workshop where church members could bring a friend along and have some fun while being creative. Last weekend the church got invovled in the annual Love Oxted festival. They went out onto the streets handing out free hot chocolates, engaging in conversations with people visiting the festival and inviting them to their carol service and upcoming Alpha course. They are also going to be engaging with the large commuter population by handing out mulled wine at local stations on several evenings next week. The season of events will finish with an advent adventure held at the church's building and a traditional carol service.

East End Church in London is hosting a live nativity on Roman Road, a busy market street in East London. The church’s gospel choir will perform in the public square, while free mulled wine and mince pies are offered to those around.  Members of the church will then perform as characters from the Christmas story, accompanied by a real donkey. They will travel to the main public square where there will be an open air carol service, with the choir leading carols and Tom Head, lead elder of East End Church, giving a short address. Many of the church will be there to mix with the crowd, tell people about the church, and invite them along. This is the third year that the church will have run the event. It’s always great fun and well received by children, adults, and the local council who even pay for the necessary permit.  The hope is for 200 people or more to be there for the open air carol service. East End Church is then launching an Alpha course in January.

In The Hague, Redeemer Church is hosting a Christmas Eve service in the very centre of the city. They are using video sketches portraying different groups of people looking ahead to Christmas. The stories will culminate at the Christmas Eve event. Their theme is ‘God’s story – our story’.

For many people, Christmas is the one time in the year when they will consider going to church. Let’s pray that this year many people who don’t know Jesus attend events at our churches, hear the real meaning of Christmas and encounter Jesus.

Image: The Greatest Gift at King's Church Hastings by Chris Johnson.