Covid Resources

These are seasonal resources. If you are looking for general Coronavirus advice and resources for churches, click here.

Advent and Christmas 2021

Below are the four areas I highlighted for Christmas planning last year: this year, as the pandemic continues to affect our lives and worship, many of these ideas may still be useful. Over the coming weeks, you will find fresh ideas gathered under each heading. My aim is to review and cherry-pick as many of the emerging resources as possible, and present them here for ease of reference. They are especially suitable for children, young people and families, but many will be appropriate for individuals of any age who are observing this season at home.

When Christmas Hurts

See below for a new section of resources to help people of all ages lament together at this difficult time.

If you would like to talk through your plans, or seek advice on safeguarding and risk assessments, please get in touch with me. If you have a great idea to add to this page, let me know! Contact: Claire Benton-Evans youthandchildren@dioceseofedinburgh.org 

Keeping it local

Ways to share the Christmas message with your local community

  • Advent Lights – unite and bless your community with local window displays
  • The Walking Nativity – a community story walk, plus other original Nativity scripts and stories from Sparks of Hope
  • Messy Nativity Advent Project – a guide to bringing the story of Jesus’ birth back into our towns and cities this Christmas
  • Messy Christmas – three complete sessions and a treasure trove of craft ideas for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. There is also a load more Messy Church resources for Christmas collected here.
  • Carpark Carols! Full details here
  • God With Us: a host of great resources to take Christmas beyond the church building, from Faith in Kids
  • A trail for children to follow: Nativity Story stones hidden in the local area, or a Nativity Treasure Hunt – full instructions and resources here
  • Follow the Star: a trail to find the Christmas stars in local windows (like the NHS rainbows)
  • Lessons and Carols Community Walk – take this familiar service out into the streets
  • Baby Jesus Rocks! These were a big hit in Dunbar in 2018: contact St Anne’s Dunbar for details
  • Knitted Angels – many churches in the diocese have enjoyed taking part in this project, including St Mark’s Portobello
  • Go outside! Check out Wild Advent for brilliant faith-based outdoor activities
  • Muddy Church – seasonal resources for the great outdoors

Online Resources

Zoom ideas, videos, slideshow material and more

  • Create an online Advent Calendar
  • Share this lovely Lego animation of How to make a Christingle
  • Film your own version of The Lockdown Nativity (original script available on request)
  • Hold a Crib Service on Zoom: full script and resources here
  • Hold a Zoom Carol Singalong
  • Nativity Escape Room! Digital & downloadable resource for a group of 8-15 year-olds
  • There’s a wealth of lectionary-based all-age Advent and Christmas resources in Spill the Beans
  • Retell the Christmas story as a slideshow of photos taken in your local area
  • Share an age-appropriate video of the Christmas story, such as God With Us (beautifully told with biscuits!), the CBeebies Nativity Story or these more challenging spoken word poetry videos for teenagers about the ‘Mess’ of Christmas or the Son of God to whom government shall be given
  • Leaders pre-record Nativity scenes with their own children and hold a Christmas Eve Service on Zoom. Encourage dressing up!
  • Children’s Chapel – the Scottish Episcopal Church’s short online act of worship for very young children at home with their families. Available once a month on Sunday from 8am. There will be Children’s Chapel on Christmas Day, led by the Diocese of Edinburgh.

Faith at Home

Resources for families to use at home

The Personal Touch

Ideas for practical outreach and tangible gifts

  • Doorstep drops of Christmas treats
  • Care packages
  • Christmas cards (hand-made by children for elderly people)
  • Food Bank Advent Calendars
  • Pray for your community, handing out prayer request cards to homes and local shops – contact Holy Trinity Haddington for details of their prayer project

When Christmas Hurts – Resources for Lament

Every year, some people struggle with Christmas. Financial hardship, family stress, isolation, loss and bereavement can all be felt more acutely during the Christmas period. This year, many more will be struggling because of the pandemic. The Church has a tradition of lament which we can draw on now. People of all ages – children too – need a safe space to mourn this year’s losses and bring our difficult feelings to God.