U.K. Churches Unite to Proclaim 'Christmas Starts with Christ'

LONDON – Churches from all denominations are being invited for the first time to sponsor a national advertising campaign in the run up to Christmas.

ChurchAds.net plans to place posters in bus shelters across the United Kingdom carrying the message "Christmas Starts with Christ" and depicting the nativity.

Mike Elms, trustee of ChurchAds.Net, says: "For years churches across the U.K. have produced posters to promote Christmas, but no one has attempted to run a fully national campaign, with a long-lasting slogan that runs and builds year on year."

According to Elms, this is the U.K.'s first ever church-sponsored Christmas advertising campaign and it is planned to run over the next five years.

Churches are being asked to sponsor a bus shelter carrying one of the posters and airtime for an accompanying radio advertisement for the campaign, which will run in the last three weeks of December.

"If churches all over the country buy 2,000 bus shelters and fund 2,500 airplays of the radio commercials, the campaign would be seen or heard by around 60 percent of the U.K. population," Elms said. "Imagine the impact that will be created by this powerful Gospel proclamation."

A poll by Theos think tank last year found that more than a third of the British public believed that the virgin birth really happened, while more than half agreed that the birth of Jesus was "significant." Further research by Theos also found that only 12 percent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story.

On the Web: www.ChurchAds.net