Churches Together in England General Secretary Bishop Mike Royal is encouraging churches to renew the Christmas message across their communities. This is at the heart of the nationwide Christmas campaign called Shine Your Light which starts next weekend (16 and 17 December).
So far, more than 42,000 Christians representing 360 churches have registered to take part in Shine Your Light, which makes it the largest Christmas outreach on behalf of the UK church. Many CTE Member Churches including the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union, Church of God of Prophecy, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ground Level Network, the Salvation Army and the Church of England have signed up.
Among those taking part, there will be hundreds of flashmob style carol events, open-air Christingle services and nativity events from the small to the large including some in castles, country parks and housing estates. All of these events are focused on enabling the true message of Christmas to be heard by those outside the church.
Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of Churches Together in England said:
“It’s been exciting to observe how Shine Your Light has grown in just a matter of months to see the Christian church sharing with their communities, the real message of Christmas. This, of course, embodies the values of Churches Together in England, which helps the 54 member denominations across England to work together in unity.
“A recent statistic suggested that while 80% of Brits celebrate Christmas, only 18% know the real reason for the season. At Christmas time, many people spend money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need. I would suggest more precious is the message of God’s gift to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. The church is here to share that message.
“So I want to encourage the church to be bold in cheerfully sharing the message of “Joy to the World” as we all Shine our Lights in our communities everywhere.”
The National Day of Prayer and Worship, a Charity and Network in Association with CTE, is coordinating Shine Your Light. Their Convenor, Dr Jonathan Oloyede, added:
“This year, seeing Christians coming together to take the real message to their communities has been so encouraging…My prayer for Shine Your Light is that people will see the church out in their localities over the next few weeks being unashamed about the reason for Christmas, but in a way that encourages people to listen to what is shared and that a warm welcome is given.”