Christian leaders in Wakefield are sending sixty-five thousand Christmas cards to households across the city in a bid to lift spirits at the end of a difficult year.
Bishop Tony Robinson who led the initiative said: "The idea was born as Christian leaders from across the city met in a series of workshops to ask themselves how they might show the people of the city that they really care."
The cards are part of a larger multi-channel communication designed to help those in the city who would value some encouragement.
Kevin Foster, leader of Wakefield's New Life church said: "We've seen a real team spirit emerge among the leaders this year, I'm very encouraged". His sentiment was echoed by leaders from the Methodist, Anglican, Baptist and Nigerian churches.
A giant animated version of the card will be displayed on two digital vans that will be on a “patrol of encouragement” for nine days. The initiative also includes lighting up Wakefield Cathedral red and green for 15 days from 19 December.
The Bishop of Wakefield added: "It has been really heart-warming to see leaders from different denominations and streams come together with such imagination. We've learned a lot and we're excited about the possibilities for 2021. Most of all though, our thoughts and prayers are for the people of the city in what for many has been a horrible year. Our Christmas message is the unceasing one of there always being hope when we remember that God is with us and for us."
The cards will coincide with the launch of the new website, a dedicated phone line for people to post prayer requests and heart-warming stories of people and events from a year of lockdown.