Christmas is one of the best opportunities to invite people to guest events. It’s a wonderful time to share the joy of Jesus’ birth by carol singing on the streets, visiting peope home to home, holding events in schools, sports stadiums, pubs and community centres as well as in churches.
Families shopping this festive season will receive two great giveaways telling the Christmas story. HOPE Together, Bible Society and Speak Life are working with The Entertainer toy shops to help customers appreciate the reason for the season.
The Entertainer chain is the UK's largest independent toy retailer. The company was founded by the husband and wife team Catherine and Gary Grant in 1981, when they purchased a toy shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. The chain has now grown to more than 160 shops and, earlier this year, they expanded to include the Early Learning Centres.
Each Entertainer shop has a nativity scene in its window at Christmas, and this year, The Entertainer nativity scenes will feature the popular Early Learning Centre Happyland characters as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Angel, the Wise Men and the Shepherds.
Telling the Christmas story
To tie in with these nativity scenes, Bible Society is producing a special edition of its Christmas booklet - The Christmas Story. Each family shopping for Christmas in The Entertainer stores will receive a copy. Copies will also be available from the HOPE shop in November.
Shoppers will also be offered a copy of the Christmas HOPE magazine, with a centre-spread featuring the Happyland characters telling the Christmas story. This 32-page magazine is packed with topical features to inform, challenge and entertain readers. The cover features Tom Hanks, ‘the man behind the honours’; the new Cats movie; Alisson Becker: the world’s best goalkeeper and Street Pastors ‘keeping clubbers safe this Christmas’. And there’s much more inside.
Speak Life animation
As well as the nativity scene featuring in The Entertainer shop windows and The Christmas Story booklets and Christmas HOPE magazines, a specially-made Happyland nativity animation is being made by the Speak Life team. The animation will be available from early November on social media and to download for use in schools and churches.
Roy Crowne, HOPE Together’s executive director said, ‘We are thrilled to be working with these partners to offer a joined-up Christmas message. We hope that churches will take advantage of the amazing opportunity Christmas offers to visit local homes making Jesus known. We trust that these resources will help people to talk about Jesus and to invite people to celebrate Christmas at their local church.’
All the Christmas resources are available on the HOPE Together shop for individuals and churches to order.