New: Dec. 23 TLC Online

The Dec. 23 edition of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers. In this edition, associate editor Zachary Guiliano reports on the Church of England’s energetic effort to attract more visitors at Christmas, and John Martin, associate editor for international news, reflects on the church’s place in national culture.

Guiliano writes:

The church has invested in various kinds of branded material supporting #FollowTheStar, including posters, Christmas cards, bookmarks, banners, and much else, paired with a 12 Days of Christmas devotional booklet written by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s chaplain, the Rev. Isabelle Harmley. The booklet is available for bulk ordering, but will also be available for free through an email campaign and via Android and iOS apps.

Response has been considerable: at the beginning of December, Church House Publishing’s website included a note that “phenomenal demand” for the booklet had already led to depleted stock, but new copies would be available the next week.

The campaign attracted national attention, including coverage on the BBC on several occasions in late November and a mention from MPs of both parties in the House of Commons on Nov. 29.

And Martin writes:

Christmas tastes are ever-changing. Up until 1963 it never seemed to occur to recording artists to produce special Christmas songs. At Christmas there were schmaltzy carols and easy-listening staples. Now Christmas songs are in hot competition, although they rarely mention the Christ child.

Tesco, the country’s largest supermarket chain, reports that less than half of English families eat a traditional Christmas pudding. Research conducted by British Corner Shop, an online supermarket, found that a third of Brits will not hang a Christmas wreath on their door come December 25. One tradition that stands firm is how large numbers of Brits watch the Queen’s Christmas Speech on television.

About 25 percent will not sit down to a Christmas dinner complete with traditional veggie sides including roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips covered in a generous helping of gravy. And just 20 percent will have a real Christmas tree in their home this year.


  • Full-court Press for Christmas | By Zachary Guiliano
  • Following the Star | By John Martin
  • Here Comes St. Nicholas | By G. Jeffrey MacDonald


  • ‘In the Beginning’ | By Mark W. Ohlemeier
  • Boone Porter on Advent and Christmas
  • The Wonderful Incarnation | By Jordan Hillebert


  • Tom Bair Delivers the Spoken Word | By Kirk Petersen


  • Christmas Favorites | By Susanna Quaile Cover

Special Section

  • Gift Ideas from Friends of The Living Church

Other Departments

  • People & Places
  • Sunday’s Readings

We are grateful to St. Peter’s Church, St. Louis, and the Diocese of Virginia

, Church of the Transfiguration, Vail

, Church of the Incarnation, Dallas

, and Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue

, whose generous support helped make this issue possible.


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