Celebrate Christmas at the heart of your community
HOPE helps churches to bring communities together. We provide lots of great resources and ideas so you have something to say, something to give and an invitaiton to offer.
In 2016 Christmas No.1 was Inspired by the nation’s No.1 favourite carol Silent Night. Brought to you by HOPE, Tearfund, Sports Chaplaincy UK and Integrity Music, the campaign brought communities together throughout the UK over Christmas 2016. A new carols booklet is being prepared for 2017 in partnership with Bible Society.
Matching free resources will be available to download and HOPE's partner CPO will offered a range of banners, posters and invitations to match the theme.
A Christmas songwords app – Carol Words – is still available free from the Apple and Android app stores. It has all the words you’ll need to sing 40 favourite carols at open air carol services or in candlelit churches. Choose your font colour and size for easy reading in the dark!
Who is behind Christmas No.1?
The Sports Chaplaincy UK, HOPE and Tearfund partnership developed over several years, bringing communities together at Christmas. For example, more than 1000 people took part in AFC Bournemouth’s Sing Christmas event at the Cherries’ ground. At Swansea City players took part in their stadium event reading the Christmas story from the Bible. The Christmas carol event at Bolton Wanderers was packed to capacity as local school choirs led the singing. Events have also been held by Bradford Bulls, Ulster Rugby, Newport County, Crew Alexandra, Crawley Town and in hundreds of local churches with thousands of souvenir programmes being given away to carol singers.
Sports clubs were also key venues for the Christmas No.1 events. Warren Evans, National Director of Sports Chaplaincy UK, says, ‘Our No.1 is Jesus. We are so excited to be helping to share the good news of Christmas. There are around 400 sports chaplains serving across the United Kingdom in a variety of sports such as football, rugby, horse racing, all ability, young adults, men and women's sports. Each chaplain is doing a wonderful job, living out the gospel in a practical way by providing pastoral and spiritual care to all, being a safe port of call and making a positive difference. These carol events are a great way to bring clubs and communities together to celebrate Jesus – the No.1 person of all time!’
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s executive director said, ‘Christmas is an amazing time to bring communities together. Carols are an obvious way to share the gospel. Our programmes unpack some of the meaning and offer Christians a conversation-starter to talk about Jesus and why he came.
‘HOPE is committed to helping churches to serve their communities, bringing people together to celebrate at Christmas, Easter, with summer festivals and Harvest – key calendar moments when Christians, working together, are putting their faith into words and action in villages, towns and cities.
‘We sense that we are moving into a season of reaping what’s been sown, so HOPE is working towards 2018 with all the Christian denominations for a massive year of mission together. Ask the Lord of the harvest to equip us all as workers in his harvest field.’