November 30, 2010

Church says ‘Ready Steady Slow’ for Advent


by Jan Harris

Advent, the beginning of the Church of England’s year, starts on fourth Sunday before Christmas Day but of course people start opening their advent calendars on 1 December, many of which no longer have anything to do with the Christmas story.

John Lewis reported that advent calendars containing Playmobil or Lego toys, costing a hefty £25 each, have been flying off the shelves for weeks.

However for those fed up with the unrelenting commercialisation of Christmas the Church of England has launched an online advent calendar at www.readysteadyslow.org .

Behind each door there is a video story from around the country and unlike chocolate advent calendars, which you can scoff in one day if you really can’t wait, the video calendar will just tell you to go away (politely of course) and come back later if you try to peek too soon.

The new Bishop of Chelmsford spoke on the ‘Ready Steady Slow’ theme at his installation on 27 November and has co-authored a new book for Advent called ‘Ready Steady Slow’.

This offers people ‘tread gently challenges’ which could cumulatively help to change the world, such as driving slower and taking five minutes more for your coffee break.

The Archbishop of York is also launching an online calendar at www.archbishopofyork.org so there are plenty of alternatives on offer for those who want to reconnect with the real spirit of Christmas.

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