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How did #FollowTheStar help people grow closer to God through Advent and Christmas?

Posted on Tuesday 29 January 2019
#FollowTheStar was the Church of England’s and Archbishops’ Advent and Christmas campaign. It was fantastic to see so many churches use the resources to encourage attendance and share the good news of Jesus Christ at this important moment in the year.

Their survey feedback has revealed that more than 85% found the campaign helpful, very helpful or extremely helpful in growing closer to God. Their reach on social media throughout Advent and Christmas was 7.94 million – up by 1.14 million on #GodWithUs in 2017. 

Working with local churches, dioceses, colleagues across Church House Westminster, Lambeth Palace and Bishopthorpe they were able to build a campaign that engaged people across England and the Diocese in Europe.

A huge thanks to everyone who got involved in shaping the strategy and being so enthusiastic throughout. 

Their aims were to: 

Equip churches and regular churchgoers to share with family and friends the joy of: 

  • Going to a local church Christmas service or event 

  • Join in the Twelve Days of Christmas reflections. 

Enable those exploring faith to: 

  • See content that encouraged them into a local Christmas service or event 

  • Grow in faith by reading reflections and praying. 

What were the key results from the campaign? 

  • The first time an Advent and Christmas campaign from the Church spanned digital, print, traditional press and broadcast in terms of promotion and awareness 

  • More than 120,000 copies of Church House Publishing’s #FollowTheStar booklet were sold – 50% more than the figure for #GodWithUs in 2017. The reflections written by Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, were very positively received and widely used in print, our app and Alexa 

  • The partnership with BBC Sunday Worship and Daily Worship resulted in millions of people hearing the #FollowTheStar reflections 

  • A Church Near You received more page views than 2017 - up from 1.5 million to 1.66 million, with 79% of visitors telling us that they found it helpful, very helpful or extremely helpful to find a service or event

  • The O little town of Bethlehem Christmas carol was a major success – used by Classic FM on social and radio and played on BBC Radio 2  

  • More than 50,000 items sold through the online store – bookmarks, booklets and flyers were particularly popular  

  • The Night of the Stars events in Canterbury and Durham were popular and helped encourage churches to put up stars and share pictures on social media. 


Find out more on the campaign by visiting the Church of England website on the link below.

Related links: