Refugees in the con­gre­ga­tion to fea­ture in Church’s fes­tive ad­vert

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

IN­SPI­RA­TION FROM within its con­gre­ga­tions is to fea­ture in this year’s Christ­mas ad­vert from the Church of Eng­land.

The Church’s Christ­mas cam­paign, launched to­day, tells the story of fes­tive prepa­ra­tions at St Peter’s Church on Stock­ton-onTees. Sit­u­ated in a Gov­ern­ment dis­per­sal area for asy­lum seek­ers and mi­grants whose claims are be­ing con­sid­ered, St Peter’s says it seeks to serve all in its parish.

Backed by singers from a Lon­don Gospel Choir, the ad­vert fea­tures refugees and asy­lum seek­ers from within the con­gre­ga­tion, speak­ing a line apiece from We Three Kings.

Last year, the Church’s #Fol­lowTheS­tar cam­paign reached more than eight mil­lion peo­ple through so­cial me­dia alone, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to at­tend ser­vices and dis­cover the joy of Christ­mas.

The Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, Justin Welby, said: “Christ­mas is rightly a time for cel­e­bra­tion, bring­ing joy and com­fort to the lives of oth­ers. The rea­son we do this is that we are each of­fered the most ex­tra­or­di­nary gift at Christ­mas in the birth of Je­sus.

“I hope that ev­ery­one who sees this cam­paign, whether or not they know any­thing about Je­sus, will feel moved – like the Magi – to fol­low the star to church and to ask the ques­tions: ‘why am I here, what am I for, and why I am loved?’

“It doesn’t mat­ter who you are – whether you’re a reg­u­lar church-goer, or you never go to church, there is some­thing in #Fol­lowTheS­tar and in Je­sus for ev­ery­one.”

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