East Lancs bishop launches campaign to refocus on season’s ‘real meaning’

LANCASHIRE’S newest bishop has launched a campaign to place more religious emphasis on Christmas.

As the advent season gets under way, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson is supporting a national ecumenical campaign.

The Bishop of Blackburn has urged all churches to get on board with the initiative if they haven’t already done so.

Christmas Starts with Christ, a joint campaign backed by the Church of England and many other Christian denominations, will run throughout December until Christmas Day.

The aim is to get as many people as possible going to Church over the month and to remind people why they are celebrating Christmas in the first place.

Initiatives at a local level will be backed by a national advertising campaign, using posters and advertising.

Resources available to churches for the 25 days of advent include a free-to-use logo, posters which churches can make bespoke for their own promotional use, print and web-based leaflets, and specially produced Christmas cards.

The campaign follows recent survey results which show 51 per cent of people now say that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas.

This has led many denominations to unite to begin to reverse the trend and focus on ‘saving Christmas’.

Bishop Julian said: “Christmas is such an important part of the Church calendar and it is a time when Christians shine light in their communities.

“We cannot let the nation lose the real meaning of Christmas and so I’m delighted to support this initiative to remind everyone that Christmas Starts with Christ.

“I urge all churches across the county to support the campaign by using the resources available on the christmasstartswithchrist.com website and by encouraging as many people as possible to revisit church.”

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