Bring #JoyToTheWorld with www.AChristmasNearYou.org
This Christmas the Church of England is launching a new website inviting people across the country to attend local parish services at Christmas.
Parishes are being invited to visit A Christmas Near You and complete a simple form no later than 1 December to register their Christmas church services.
On 1 December, the website will be live for anyone to be able to find the nearest Christmas services to them (or search for services in a particular location). It will be able to filter by date, whether there will be carols and accessibility such as wheelchair access, sign language and parking and more. They'll also be able to find which Christmas services are serving mince pies or mulled wine! For smartphones, the website will be able to use geolocation to find where the person is and show which Christmas services are happening nearest to them.
To promote the website and accompanying Christmas social media campaign, there will be four videos on the theme of Christmas Joy. The videos star Gogglebox vicar Kate Bottley, comedian Paul Kerensa, Matt Woodcock and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons Rose Hudson Wilkin - each talking about a moment of Christmas Joy in their lives.
The Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council, 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.
"Using digital to publicise the range of services we offer complements the usual parish work of placing leaflets through people's doors, using social media and digital tools to encourage people to look up their local services online or mobile."
The website will be supported by a social media campaign from the launch of the website, right up to Christmas Day using the hashtag #JoyToTheWorld.
Churches from across the country will be encouraged to share photos/videos of their churches celebrating and asking the millions of people who attend church at Christmas to tweet about the church services and celebrations they have attended.