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24 October 2017

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 resources for Advent, child friendly challenges for Advent for schools and families. Christmas resources for 2017 include a nativity story booklet illustrated by Emma Skerratt, a script for a nativity play and carol booklets.

Bloomsbury Baptist Church have created https://www.christmas.org.uk a website full of Christmas ideas for churches 

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.

BRF have produced a booklet of readings for Advent 2017

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 Christmas campaign for 2017 is Enough for Everyone and there are free resources available for download for churches and school assemblies 

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, including lots of new designs for 2017, 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.

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.

Embrace Middle East have resources for all age services, children's activity suggestions as well as their Bethlehem carol sheets and tips for organising a community carol service. Find out more here. You can also sign up for a daily email Advent reflection written by those working in the Middle East as well as UK based church leaders such as Bishop Libby Lane and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Orthodox Coptic Church in the UK.

The Good Book Company have outreach resources including small booklets and leaflets and also a daily reading for Advent booklets by Tim Chester:  The one true story and The one true light. Find out more here or phone 0333 123 0880.

Great Commission has collated more than 20 Christmas outreach resources helping you and your church to share Jesus with those around you at this special time of year. www.greatcommission.co.uk/christmas

JPIT have a modern version of the nativity http://eauk.co/2AiJaau

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 produced Outside/in a booklet about the Christmas story told from the perspective of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and sages. find out more here or phone 020 7730 2155.

Meaningful Chocolate Company have produced a Real Advent calendar  and also free resources for use in churches and schools. The calendars include a 24 page Christmas story activity booklet designed to be used every day during Advent.

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

Scripture Union have resources to enable you to host a children's Christmas party or you can use the ideas in assemblies or churches. They also have a range of other resources for Christmas themed craft activities, puzzles, quizzes, dramas, a Bible themed Christmas comic and Christmas bauble books http://eauk.co/2gW87Al

Spurgeons have lots of ideas to help your church celebrate Advent and Christmas: http://eauk.co/2BHGFeg They also have a great nativity play available as a free download: http://eauk.co/2BRWsbs

HOPE, comedian Miranda Hart, Sky Sports and former Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas, and toy store entrepreneur Gary Grant are among those featured in the 2017 Christmas HOPE magazine designed for you to distribute to your neighbours or use as part of your church Christmas outreach activities. 

The Journey to Bethlehem carol resource has been produced by Integrity Music, Sports Chaplaincy UK, CPO, HOPE, and Bible Society in partnership. It includes carol booklets and a large range of publicity materials.

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 have produced 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 0300 303 7000.

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 resources for churches and individuals to host Christmas parties and to raise money for the Viva Christmas parties that they hold to introduce vulnerable children around the world to Jesus.

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 2017 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

Get in the picture is an exciting project that allows you to take part in the Christmas story. 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 020 85591180

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 info@eauk.org. info@eauk.org

Alternative gifts

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 . 

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