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02 November 2016

Christmas and Advent resources

Christmas and Advent resources

We've put together some resources for outreach or themed church services, along with alternative activities to do with your community.

Barnabas in Churches have suggestions for an all age Advent service and ideas for an Advent fun day. Christmas activities are also available - click here.

Bible Society have a suite of resources under the title The Well Good News of Christmas which include a free to download "no rehearsal" nativity, a booklet that churches can give away and a free video. Click here to take a look.

Breakout Trust have produced It's a Boy - a DVD that is suitable for use at evangelistic events that have a Christmas theme. Using the same theme the Trust have also created resources that include have created a board game, a talking book and a musical score.

Bridge-Builders are offering Christmas Journeys , taken from the New Living Translation of the gospels of Matthew and Luke arranged in chronological order. The Bible text is followed by an eight page gospel presentation about the significance of Christmas and a reply card for further information.

Christian Aid' s campaign for 2016 is Light the Way and they have produced prayer sheets, a nativity sketch, service suggestions, and a how to guide for organising a Walk of Witness, as well as publicity materials to advertise your event.

Church Army: Why not have Mary and Joseph come and stay with you for one night? Free Posada resources are available.

Church Urban Fund have created resources for The Advent Sleepout Challenge 201

CPO (Christian Publishing & Outreach) offer a full range of Christmas promotional and advertising materials for your church's outreach service which can be overprinted with church details; they also have evangelistic tracts and booklets that can be given out at events. For more information or to order a catalogue please visit www.cpo.org.uk or phone 01903 263354.

Christmas starts with Christ is a campaign aimed at helping churches to make Christ and the amazing story of his birth the focus of the nation's favourite time of year. Click here for more information.

Dry Bones Trust have Happy Christmas?, a 14 page booklet suitable for giving out at Christmas events available for £1 each although bulk prices are also available.

Eikon Bible Art have a number of resources that can help you in your work with children and young people, including a comic book entitled Legends of faith, activity packs, a short film explaining the real meaning of Christmas called Becky's Christmas, downloadable Bible stories related to the Christmas story with memory verses, teaching guides, puzzles and drawing pages and DVD's of Christmas related Bible stories.

Embrace Middle East have resources for all age services, children's activity suggestions as well as their Bethlehem carol sheets that have been updated for 2016 and tips for organising a community carol service. Find out more here.

The Good Book Company have outreach resources including small booklets and leaflets and also a daily reading for Advent booklet, The One True Story. Find out more here or phone 0333 123 0880.

Kevin Mayhew Publishers have a large range of resources for advent and Christmas services including musical plays, songbooks and sheet music, art and craft ideas, ideas for school assemblies and collections of reflections and prayers. For more information click here or phone 0845 388 1634.

Lifewords UK have redesigned Expect the Unexpected, their booklet suitable for Sunday school groups, for 2016. Other resources for youth groups, church services and one to one evangelism are also available. Visit their website or phone 020 7730 2155.

Meaningful Chocolate Company have produced a Real Advent calendar which they hope will educate the 36 per cent of children who don't know whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. The calendars include a 28 page Christmas story activity booklet.

Philo Trust have a selection of Christmas themed booklets written by J John. Visit www.philotrust.com or phone 01923 287777

Scripture Union have T he Best Present Ever a missional resource for children aged 5-8 ideal for Christmas outreach events and for slightly older children The Greatest Gift of All Time is aimed at children aged 8-11. Both resources come in packs of 10, 20 page booklets.

Stewardship are offering their Advent Wonder resource for the final time in 2016.

Tearfund, HOPE,
Sports Chaplaincy UK  and Integrity Music have developed materials to help you organise a community carol event based on the top 10 carols. The No. 1 Carol resources include a printable carol booklet, craft activity suggestions and Powerpoints of song lyrics.

The All age worship website has free material for use at Advent, Christmas Eve (crib services), and Christmas Day services, as well as seasonal puppet scripts, dramas, and prayer stations.

The Children's Society produce resources for church services and children and youth activities around the theme of the Christingle (meaning 'Christ Light') as a symbol of the Christian faith. For more information visit http://eauk.co/1aKB4SO or phone 0207 7841 4400.

Unlock has resources aimed primarily at urban churches reaching out to oral learners including the Advent resource God finds us and Nechells Unlocks which is designed for use with small groups from outside of the church in the run up to Christmas. Take a look here.

Viva have produced a resource for Advent that will help you take a moment in your Advent services to reflect on God's Word through the eyes of children around the world.

WaterAid have Advent resources for Sunday school sessions during the 4 Advent Sundays with the theme Deliver Life.

Special activities

ACAT (Action by Christians Against Torture).
ACAT have an annual Christmas Greetings campaign that encourages Christians to show their support for their fellow Christians who are tortured because of their faith. Details of the 2016 campaign are available from www.acatuk.org.uk

Advent Conspiracy
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again? Turn your Christmas upside down. www.adventconspiracy.org

BRF have The Gingerbread Nativity which uses the popular tradition of making and decorating gingerbread houses and biscuits to explore the themes of Advent and the story of the first Christmas.

Get in the picture is an exciting project that allows you to take part in the Christmas story and it has a new look for 2016. You can still dress up as a shepherd, a King or as Mary and imagine yourself as a character in one of the greatest stories ever told  but this year you will not have to register to upload you photos or pay a fee. This project provides you with a unique opportunity to get your local community thinking about the Christmas story.

The Prison Fellowship has produced Angel Tree, the Prison Fellowship's project that sends Christmas presents to children of prisoners in the UK. For more information visit the website or phone 0207 799 2500

Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse, collects and distributes gift-filled boxes to children in various developing countries around the world. It is also possible to fill boxes online via Shoebox World for a suggested donation of £15. For more information visit their website or phone 0870 011 2002

Contact your local Salvation Army Division or your nearest City Mission to see if they have any vacancies for volunteers to serve others in their community during the Christmas season. You can email the Salvation Army here.

Alternative resources

Many charities offer Christians the opportunity to select gifts on behalf of their family and friends to send them to those in desperate need. Some creative gift ideas include: bicycles for pastors; goats, pigs, cows or chickens for poor families; bibles for believers; winter coats for those in need; bible training for young believers; seed kits for farmers; blankets; medical aid for street children and more. Some Christian charities you can contact are:

Fairtrade products
Looking out for fairly-traded Christmas presents and decorations when you shop can make a difference to more than just one person. You can view the online catalogues and/or order one from the organisations below.

Other Resources

Evangelical Alliance Christmas facts and figures: A collection of surveys, quotes and statistics about Christmas. Ideal for sermons and talks compiled by the Evangelical Alliance's information officer .

Scripture Union have a set of bauble books that are tree decorations with a difference as each bauble features an illustrated Bible based Christmas story making the books ideal for sharing the Christmas story with those who do not have a church background.

Christmas cards

It is worth remembering that many charities produce their own Christmas cards to raise funds. Why not contact your favourite charity to ask whether they have cards for sale? Always check the percentage given to the designated charity in high street selections as it may be minimal. Also don't forget to have a look at the range of Christmas cards for sale at your local Christian bookshop.

All of the resources and suppliers/producers listed above are provided for information only, inclusion in the list does not constitute a recommendation by the Evangelical Alliance. If you know of any good Christian resource that you think we should include please contact us info@eauk.org