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Anglican Children and Youth Ministries Commission

Christmas in the Parish

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The Revd Brett Gibson Priest-in-Charge, Parish of Canning and Member of the Anglican Children and Youth Ministries Commission

Whilst many churches will be hoping and expecting that the pews or chairs will be full on Christmas – chances are that many people will be travelling on holiday. This can present a dilemma – if you have a bunch of young people in the church who could put on a great Christmas play or similar, but they will be away with their families on Christmas, what to do?

Here's an idea we are trying out at the Parish of Canning this year, where this sort of situation pops up year after year...

The kids are still going to do a Christmas performance (a shadow puppet show this year), but it will be recorded well in advance and then played in the church on Christmas day itself. The recording can be done on a smartphone or tablet, which have brilliant recording capabilities – and the playing of it can be done on a TV or projector and screen. We don’t have a TV in the church, but someone will be able to bring in a large screen from home. Or if you needed to – you can hire a tv or projector and screen for a fairly low price.

The benefit is that kids who will be away on Christmas day can still be involved – and afterwards you will also have a great video to share on your church social media (remembering to get media release permission forms from the parents!).

On the day it is played in the church, you can still build in singing carols or whatever you choose to do by pausing the video at the appropriate times.

There are so many online resources available for churches at Christmas, some are free, some are paid. I suggest you check out who have a large range of seasonal plays and skits available of varying durations, some of which need only a few participants, and some which are much more complex.

Whatever you choose to do – may God bless your ministry this Christmas that it may be a time of joy, hope, and encouragement.

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