Research done this year reveals that 85 per cent of people agree with the statement that “Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country.” But research also shows that only 12 per cent of adults know the Christmas story in any detail – and the figure drops to just 7 per cent among 18-24 year olds.

Churches in Leigh and Westcliff joined with others from across the UK to join the UK’s first ever church-sponsored Christmas advertising campaign.

Churches have paid for a wrap around to feature on the Leigh & Westcliff Times with details of all their Christmas Services inside. Making sure everyone knows they are more than welcome at their local Christian Church this Christmas.

There are hundreds of special events and services taking place all over the borough this Christmas. Details of Carols, Nativities, Christingles, Masses, Midnight Communions and special Family Services will also feature, and also on a wrap round feature on the Rayleigh & Eastwood Times.

You can also download the Leigh & Westcliff Times Church Christmas Service Listings by clicking below:

Westcliff & Leigh Christmas Church Services (PDF)

One person we interviewed about attending church at Christmas called Alex said, “I don’t go to church normally, but church on Christmas Eve can’t be missed. It makes me feel truly Christmassy and I always leave with a great warm feeling!”

If you are not a regular church-goer you can send off for a free booklet called ‘Why Christmas?’ by Nicky Gumbel, author of a number of best selling books about the Christian Faith. Send your address details to Christian Enquiry Agency (Essex), Love Southend Offer, FREEPOST WC2947, South Croydon, CR2 8UZ or by emailing (you will not be contacted again unless you request it).

Also listen out to HEART FM over the next few weeks. There you will also hear the nativity story being told in the style of police chase and chart run-down in the latest in a series of Christmas adverts by the Christian Advertising Network (CAN). The joke-filled recordings encourage listeners to ‘join in the action this Christmas’ at their local Christian Church. Take a listen yourself by clicking on the links below:

Police Chase ad(MP3)
Chart run-down ad(MP3)

One Leigh-on-Sea Church, Leigh Road Baptist are also delivering Christmas cards with the same CHRISTMAS STARTS WITH CHRIST image through doors in their neighbourhood as a way of inviting people to their Christmas events.

All of these campaigns aim to show that all are welcome to join with their local church at Christmas and indeed at any time of the year.

David Elcock, one of the organiers said, ‘Whether people find out about the special Christmas events going on through; the listings in the Leigh Times, radio ads, free booklets, door-to-door invites, bus shelter posters, or by personal invite from a friend – we want to make sure they do know they are warmly welcome at their local church this Christmas and indeed throughout the year.’

David added, ‘Some of the churches are holding special music concerts, film showings and plays, Carols Concerts followed by free mulled wine and mince pies, and opportunities to wonder at the story of the first Christmas and God’s Son being born into the world as a gift of love from God for all of us.’

So go-on why not give your local Christian church a try this Christmas – we’re sure they would love to see you.

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