A new website, www.christmasnearyou.org, has been launched to help people in Swindon, North Wiltshire and the Bristol area find where and when their local carol and Christmas services are this year.
Visitors can search by postcode for their nearest services from 70 churches in Swindon and North Wiltshire and a further 70 in greater Bristol. You can also browse a map of the area.
In all, www.christmasnearyou.org has details of over 600 services this Christmas, including many outdoor carol services in parks, squares and village greens.
“We simply want to make it easy to connect local people with local carol and Christmas services,” says Sam Cavender, the Diocese of Bristol’s New Media Officer who developed the site. “So many people would be interested in attending a service at Christmas but don’t know when services are – or even where a local church is.”
Attendance at Christmas services across the Diocese of Bristol rose in 2009 by 6%, reflecting a growth in overall church attendance across the area.
“We hope that, as a result of www.christmasnearyou.org, many people will be singing about Christ’s birth and learning about the Christmas message for the first time in years,” says Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon.