To bring a little comfort and joy this Christmas at the end of a difficult year, Christian leaders in Wakefield are sending 65,000 cards to households across the city in a unique initiative.
Specially designed with a Covid theme, the card is part of a larger multi-channel communication designed to lift the spirits of those in the city who would value some encouragement.
Bishop Tony Robinson who led the ground-breaking project said: "the idea was born as Christian leaders from across the city met in a series of workshops to ask themselves how they might show the people of the city that they really care."
The cards will be supported by a drive-in service, a pop up website, videos from church leaders, an online service and organised, supportive, city-wide prayer till the end of January 2021.
Delivered by Royal Mail from Monday, December 7, the cards will coincide with the launch of the new website, a dedicated phone line for people to post prayer requests and heart-warming stories of people and events from a year of lockdown.
Kevin Foster, leader of Wakefield’s New Life church said "We've seen a real team spirit emerge among the leaders this year, I'm very encouraged". This was a sentiment echoed by leaders from the Methodist, Anglican, Baptist and Nigerian churches.
In addition, two digital vans will be on a patrol of encouragement for 9 days with a giant animated version of the card. The initiative also includes lighting up Wakefield Cathedral red and green for 15 days from 19 December.
The online family Christmas service will be available to view on a new website at www.visionwakefield.co.uk from 6pm on December 20. Requests for prayers and stories can be posted there or via the dedicated phone line on 01924 371802.
Bishop Tony commented "It has been really heartwarming to see leaders from different denominations and streams come together with such imagination.
“We've learned a lot and we're excited about the possibilities for 2021. Most of all though, our thoughts and prayers are for the people of the city in what for many has been a horrible year.
“Our Christmas message is the unceasing one of there always being hope when we remember that God is with us and for us."