Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Advent and Christmas 2021

At the heart of Christmas

In 2020, many of us experienced a Christmas when so many of the ways we traditionally mark the season were suddenly denied to us.

This year, of course, we hope and pray that many of the familiar experiences will return to our homes, our churches and communities. But whatever else December brings, it will offer us an opportunity to enter more deeply into the joyful mystery that lies at its heart: God becoming human in the birth of Jesus Christ.

At the heart of Christmas is a deliberately simple and open theme – one that can be used by local churches to invite their communities to share in celebrating the good news of Christmas in a whole variety of ways, whatever the prevailing circumstances.

The Church of England's heart of Christmas theme

'At the heart of Christmas' is the Church of England’s theme and resources for Advent and Christmas 2021.

The message is designed to work alongside a wide range of local initiatives and activities – supporting and highlighting the many ways churches help their communities connect with the heart of Christmas.

The national Church has created a range of resources for individuals and families

Find out more

Christmas Messages 

The Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford has written her Christmas message for 2021. If it is helpful to do so, please feel free to share the message in parish newsletters or websites. 

Finding silence to hear the Angels

Church of England Advent Reflections from Bishop Guli

Throughout Advent, the Church of England are publishing daily reflections that have been written and recorded by Archbishop Stephen (29 November to 12 December) and Bishop Guli (13 December to 24 December). 

The reflections are available via the At the Heart of Christmas App from the Church of England and by email. You can find out more here.  



 Local services

Many churches will be adding details of their Christmas and Advent services to the 'A Church Near You Website'. If you're interested in going along to a service near you, click here to visit the site and just enter you postcode.


Broadcast and livestreamed services

 A Church Near You also avdertises online services across Essex and East London.

Click on the map below to see what's planned.

Find a service

Watch Cathedral livestreamed services

Carol service for Deaf and DeafBlind people at Chelmsford Cathedral

Resources for parishes

At the Heart of Christmas Resources from the Church of England

  • Prayers
  • Daily reflections
  • National online services
  • Books and printed materials

View the At the Heart of Christmas Resources


Advent and Christmas video sermons

Sermon for the Advent Sunday (28 November 2021) with Revd Andy Griffiths


Advent and Christmas resources for children, young people and families from the Diocese of Chelmsford Mustard Seed Team

View the Resources


'Christmas Voices from the Holy Land' is this year's Advent and Christmastide book from the Friends of the Holy Land. The book is a prayer resource that can be used for individual and group reflection and prayer in parishes.

All funds raised from the sale of the book will be used in the charitable activities of the Friends of the Holy Land Charity, helping those who have suffered in Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the divided communities of Israel this Christmas

You can find our more and order copies of the book here.

For more information please contact The Communications Team
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