The co-founder of a leading UK Christian advertising group have launched a campaign to remind the British public that Christmas is about Jesus Christ.
In a country considered to be increasingly secular, the group ChurchAds.net have spent the past decade designing thought-provoking campaigns to keep Christ at the centre of Christmas. This year’s campaign is based around an image of an ultrasound scan of Jesus in the womb–complete with halo.
The startling image, accompanied by words “He’s on his way” will continue with the on-going Christmas Starts with Christ campaign launched on bus stops across the UK last Christmas.
Chairman of ChurchAds.net, Anglican Francis Goodwin said: “Our poster reflects this new way of announcing the news of a new arrival and places the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context. It offers a fresh perspective on the birth of Christ - creating anticipation and alluding to both His humanity and divinity.”
ChurchAds.net organisers hope that the poster will capture people’s attention and spark conversations about the birth of this very special baby ,with as much relevance today as 2000 years ago. Francis said that previous campaigns had been taken up and used in other Communion countries around the world, and he hoped that the same thing would happen this year too.
“This image—of a baby in the womb—is one that transcends cultures. There’s no reason this image wouldn’t deliver the same challenging message in Singapore or Kenya. So I’m inviting Anglicans right across the Communion to take this initiative and make it global.”
Commenting on the new poster, the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “For many parents pregnancy gets real when you see the image from the ultrasound scan. It tells you something is actually kicking off. We've got so used to the tinsel wrapped cosiness of the carefully packaged 21st century consumer-fest Christmas, that its astonishing reality—an actual pregnancy, a God come down to earth—is easily missed. But this image demands attention. So does this child. He's on his way.”
Last year’s campaign, on posters and radio, was supported by over 700 British churches and reached 20 million people. This year organisers hope the campaign will reach even more and are aiming for 2010 bus stops across the UK in 2010. Francis Goodwin said: “Our vision is to reach 40 million people by seeing the poster displayed on 2,010 bus stops in 2010.”
Posters will appear from December 6th. The poster campaign, launched on the ChurchAds.net website today, will be supported by radio adverts available for churches to place on their local commercial radio stations. The adverts put the birth of Christ into a contemporary setting and also include the tag-line ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’.
Vice-Chair of ChurchAds.net, Mike Elms said: “Research has revealed that 85% of people agree with the statement that ‘Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country’. But it also shows that only 12% of [UK] adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail. If Christians really want to keep Christmas focused on Christ, we must work hard at re-telling the story of his birth in ways which engage with ordinary people. We believe our slogan: ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’ helps people connect with our new images each year as we seek to re-tell the Christmas Story in a modern, secular context.”
ChurchAds.Net is an independent ecumenical charity, whose executive team includes senior communications officers from the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and URC churches; from the Church Army and Evangelical Alliance; together with Christians working in secular media and advertising organisations. The charity maintains close links with the leaderships of most major denominations and its work is vetted by a Council of Reference of senior theologians.
For further details contact Rachel Farmer tel 01636 817218 or mobile 077 12196381 or Francis Goodwin mobile 07733 001781.