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Anglican Churches In Northants Get New Look And Sound For Christmas

Author: Derek Williams Published: 13th December 2011 12:22

Rt Revd John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth (left) and Rt Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough (right) with one of the postersRt Revd John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth (left) and Rt Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough (right) with one of the posters

Anglican Churches in Northamptonshire have for the first time joined together to fund a series of radio advertisements on Heart FM, and a poster campaign linked to them, to encourage people in the area to attend a Christmas service in a local church.

The ads and posters have been produced, and are being used, nationally. They place the nativity in a modern context.

At the same time the Peterborough Diocese, which links Anglican churches across Northants, Rutland and Peterborough, has just launched a new corporate logo and colour scheme for its public “face” to replace the former crest.

Christmas ads

This year’s posters feature characters from the traditional nativity story dressed in designer fashions. The shepherds are represented by a cycle courier and plasterer. The wise men are shown as three successful entrepreneurs bearing iconic gifts: a Swarovski crystal perfume bottle, a Faberge egg and a replica Damien Hirst skull. It comes with the message, “However you dress it up…Christmas starts with Christ.”

Both the radio adverts and the posters encourage people to check out a website www.achristmasnearyou.com , and enter their postcode to find the dates, times and venues of special Christmas services are being held in their locality. Individual churches have been asked to upload their details.

The radio ads are currently airing and will be played until Christmas morning. It is estimated that they will reach 150,000 listeners, most of whom are in the 25-42 year old age group.

Diocesan Mission Enabler Miles Baker says, “Churches offer an amazing variety of very accessible celebrations over the Christmas period which together appeal to and communicate with people of all ages. We want to encourage younger people and families particularly to consider adding a church service to their Christmas activities as a personal reminder of the historical origins of the festival. After all, there would be no festival anywhere if Jesus Christ had not been born in Bethlehem.”

The “Christmas starts with Christ” campaign is now in its third year. Research shows that 61% of people surveyed like the message “Christmas starts with Christ” with 41% saying that it makes them think more about the true meaning of Christmas.

More information about the national campaign can be found on the web site ChurchAds.net.

New branding

Also launched in early December has been the new blue and gold logo of Peterborough Diocese, which is now appearing on all its publications, letterheads and on its website. Parishes are being encouraged to adopt it as soon as is practical on noticeboards, magazines and letterheads.

Commending the change, the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, says “Our previous ‘house style’ had an outdated feel and did not reflect the forward-looking and mission-oriented ethos that Bishop John and I are pursuing. While a new look doesn’t change attitudes, our public face should reflect our approach.”

The new logo has a number of variant forms. It was designed after extensive consultations by Adept Design in Aylsham, Norfolk, which specialises in Christian and charity work. It can be found on the diocesan website http://www.peterborough-diocese.org.uk/logo.htm . The web site itself will be given an overhaul visually and structurally in the new year to reflect the change still further.


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