The Church of England has more Christmas services and events available this year than it did before the Covid-19 brought along a culture of online services.
Its A Church Near You website, which helps users to search for any Anglican church in England, has advertised more than 23,850 services and other gatherings with a tag relating to Christmas this year. That includes Advent events, carol services, Midnight Mass, and Christmas Day services.
The number is 29 per cent more than what was available in 2019.
The Church of England’s head of digital, Amaris Cole, said: “This Advent and Christmas has seen a strong rebound in the number of services listed on AChurchNearYou.com, a mobile-friendly and convenient way to find a church service or event wherever you are in the country.
“Our parishes are inviting people to church this Christmas after a year marked by challenges including the impact of the cost of living crisis. We hope that people will feel able to take up this invitation to join us and hear the message of hope and comfort that is the Christmas story.”
The Church reports that around 682,000 people visited AChurchNearYou.com in December so far, with about 80 per cent of them on the site for the first time.
Events promoted on the website include ‘no rehearsal’ nativities, Christmas bingo, and a nativity themed escape room.