A Barnsley church is appealing for angels and shepherds to come and join in with its Christmas Eve service this year.
The vicar of Darton and Cawthorne, the Revd Jonathan MacGillivray is asking children to come dressed up this year if they want, to help bring the story of Christmas alive and raise funds for the Children’s Society.
The informal family crib service and Christingle will start at 3.30 pm on Christmas Eve and is part of the latest initiative to get more families to come along to church.
Just last week Darton Parish church held its first Messy Church event. It welcomed over 20 children with their families who combined worship with crafts and created a Jesse Tree where they hung paper angels, stars and ladders and posted their own special prayers round it.
Assistant priest, the Revd Jean Daykin said: “It was good to see the children in here. Everyone was so busy. A small team from the congregation organized it and it really brought the message of Messy Church alive.”
The parish has just started an all age worship mass on the first Sunday in the month and it is part of a package of plans to bring more families into the church and put the church right at the heart of the local community. An all age family mass will take place on Christmas Day with carols at 10am.
A second Messy Church event will be organized in the New Year. This Friday its sister church at Cawthorne, will hold its Spirit of Advent event which is also a community-wide service with the theme of darkness into light. Members of the local community will be encouraged to decorate a tree with the theme of light and money raised will go to the Ebola Crisis.
Vicar, Revd Jonathan MacGillivray said: “”Advent is all about waiting and anticipation. It's crucial, waiting and listening. We get so caught up in rushing around and preparing, that we forget this is a time of waiting for God and we miss being startled by Him coming. "The church needs to be waiting,” he added.