Church of England Lent and Easter reflections reach nearly 7 million

The Church of England's LentPilgim and EasterPilgrim campaigns achieved great digital success with an overall reach of 6.9 million through the national Church’s social media accounts, the app, email and Alexa.

LentPilgrim and EasterPilgrim were a series of reflections which ran in 2019, available in printed form, or digitally with the latter including recordings of prayers and reflections for each day.

One of the clear themes from feedback on the 2019 #LiveLent campaign was that people were keen to continue the journey into Easter and missed the daily reflections materials. This led to the decision by the national church to ask the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, to produce LentPilgrim, which focused on the Beatitudes, and EasterPilgrim, which explored the Lord’s Prayer.

This created 80 days of daily content that was shared in a printed booklet, through an app, in audio format, email and summaries on social media. 

More than 40,000 copies of the Pilgrim Journeys booklets were sold, an increase of almost 15% on last year’s #LiveLent – Let Your Light Shine. Both this year’s booklets – exploring The Beatitudes and The Lord’s Prayer – were designed to complement the existing Pilgrim course materials and provide daily support for those preparing for Baptism and Confirmation at any time of year.

The key elements of the campaign were:

  • Church House Publishing booklets for churches and individuals to use
  • Daily audio reflections based on the booklet
  • Daily emails to 26,000 subscribers
  • LentPilgrim and EasterPilgrim apps for Android and Apple devices downloaded 14,000 times, up over a quarter on 2018
  • Daily social media graphics
  • Explainer videos for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day – which helped to bring to life what happened at each of these key moments.

A survey went to the 26,000 people who had signed up for LentPilgrim emails, asking them what they thought of the resource. Some of the highlights include:

  • 93% found LentPilgrim helpful, very helpful or extremely helpful in bringing them closer to God
  • 75% of people read the reflections each day
  • 40%+ of people involved used the Android or Apple app.

The Church of England also received really encouraging responses by those who took the journey and how it led some to consider baptism and confirmation. Comments include: 

“It was concise and easy to use and provided meaningful reflections”
“The material was very thoughtfully written, straightforward but challenging”
“Short and pithy meditation for each day. Can be read at any time”
“It is very good to share on our Church Facebook page for many to follow”
“It was so good having the gentle teaching through the Beatitudes leading us to Easter”
“I loved the daily email alerts. It was like an alarm call”
“I was so encouraged by the Lent Pilgrim devotionals they were really good I would love to have regular devotionals from the Church of England”
“We were running a Lent course on the Beatitudes and this dovetailed in with great success”
“Helped to rekindle a daily habit”
"I will definitely do this again next year... and intend to share it with friends. Thank you for providing this."

In July 2019 the Church of England will provide more details on the focus areas for #FollowTheStar, the Church’s 2019 Advent and Christmas campaign. They will be using the same theme and logo but with more resources and brand new content that meets the needs of churches, who gave lots of helpful feedback on the 2018 campaign. 

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