When Broad Haven Baptist Church were looking for a way to adapt their usual Christmas outreach activities to comply with COVID restrictions, they discovered In Search of Christmas. Their minister, Helen Dare, explains how they made the QR code trail idea their own…
'For the last few years, our church has hosted the Broad Haven Stable Trail. Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, children and their families set off on a trail around the village, meeting various characters from the nativity story along the way. Every family is given a bag of treats and a map, as well as a booklet about the Christmas message. And the trail ends with a short opportunity for us to unpack the message further, along with an invitation to our other Christmas events.
'It’s a really simple idea but it’s proved so popular. In fact, we only expected maybe twenty or so people the first time, yet each year have had over a hundred people of all ages accompanying us, of which around half are not regular members of our church. It really has been such a great way to connect with our community!
'This year, however, it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to run the trail in the usual way and by November, people outside our church family were already asking what would happen in light of COVID-19.
"Each year have had over a hundred people of all ages accompanying us, of which around half are not regular members of our church"
'At first we didn’t know, but then we heard about the Scripture Union In Search of Christmas trail and as a team we realised that it offered us a way forward! We loved the idea of placing QR codes around the village to reveal videos of the Christmas story, as it meant that families would be able to do the trail in their own time, and in a socially distanced way. It also added an element of technology that children love.
'We did want to make some changes, though, as we wanted to keep some continuity for those joining us each year – using settings and characters that were familiar. So we recorded some extra videos to use alongside the SU ones, introduced by myself as the usual narrator of the trail, and continuing the theme of the SU videos. One, for example, takes the form of a COVID style briefing, accompanied by Roman soldiers to announce the census. Another, an AirBnB review of the stable from Joseph. Our concluding video is a nativity story recorded in our usual stable scene (our garage!) by nursery and reception children from our local primary school. I love the way that has enabled us to keep our connection with the primary school, in times when I've not been able to visit as I usually would.
It may not be our usual Stable Trail but In Search of Christmas, and the simple idea of a QR code trail, means that our church is able to bring some hope and joy to our community at the end of a difficult year and I’m excited to see how it will be received.'
"...our church is able to bring some hope and joy to our community at the end of a difficult year"
Get 'In Search of Christmas'
Why not download our In Search of Christmas resource pack to run a socially distanced QR code trail in your community. The free pack includes all the information you need to run the event, and posters to print featuring the QR code video links.
The Revealing Jesus Mission Framework
Broad Haven Baptist Church has partnered with us in the Revealing Jesus Mission framework to help them connect and journey with the 95 in their area. You can find our more about the framework, and how we can support your church in your work to reach the 95 here.
- Church & Community