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18 November 2010

Press release

Roman Emperor Augustwus begins online Christmas story

Roman Emperor Augustwus begins online Christmas story

The first census of its kind for 2,000 years has been announced on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.

The international census precedes the launch of online Nativity play - aptly renamed Natwivity.

Step forward Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, the dastardly King Herod, the Inn Keeper and the shepherds. Throughout the month of Advent, each character will post daily140-character updates on Twitter and Facebook as part of Natwivity.

By reading their daily tweets, followers can learn more about each of the character's thoughts and feelings in the run-up to the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. Excerpts reveal Mary's angst as she rides on a donkey over the hills of Bethlehemright through to the night the shepherds saw their familiar hills illuminated by an angelic host.

Among the team writers is Paul Kerensa, a stand-up comedian, writer and tweeter. Paul, who co-wrote BBC's sitcom Not Going Out, says: "Although I am familiar with the story, tweeting the nativity play is a great way to rediscover it afresh as there are always new angles to explore. If you love Christmas and Twitter, then Natwivity will definitely be your cup of frankincense."

The Natwivity has been made possible through collaboration between Share Creative, a creative design company, and the Evangelical Alliance.

Huw Tyler, of Share Creative, says: "We hope that both Christians and non Christian alike will enjoy the Natwivity and find something new to them in this familiar story."

At a time when the real meaning of Christmas is all too easily sidetracked, The Reverend Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, says: "Natwivity embraces the importance of finding new ways of exploring faith and the Bible. Story-telling has been a major part of Christian tradition for centuries and I'm thrilled to see social media being used in this way."

Before the play begins on December 1st, people can respond to the census as decreed by the Emperor 'Augustwus' by visiting www.natwivity.com.

Followers can log ontowww.twitter.com/natwivityand clicking 'follow' or visitwww.facebook.com/natwivity. The play is suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Media Contact:

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.