Diocese of Carlisle

    Hundreds of Advent calendars to be shared across the county

    Latest News
    25 Nov. 2021

    Hundreds of special Advent calendars are to be shared by Network Youth Churches with young people across the county.

    Five hundred calendars – made up of individual cards for each day of Advent – have been printed for distribution among those who regularly attend NYC and young people who they also draw alongside in the community.

    The idea for the Advent calendars was first introduced by the leadership team of Carlisle Network Youth Church, three years ago.

    Kristian Tjemsland, Carlisle NYC leader, explained: “It started after we began talking to some of the young people we regularly meet up with when they are playing football in their local community.

    “They explained that even though it was mid-Advent they were excited because they were getting their calendar that day. They explained that their parents had not been able to afford to buy a chocolate calendar until they’d been paid.

    “So, that’s when we decided to do something the following year. We developed a series of daily Advent cards which included a chocolate and a few Bible verses throughout Advent which explained the nativity story.

    “We’d also include some practical challenges: attaching two chocolates to a card and asking the young person to give one to someone they may have not spoken to for a while or who they may have fallen out with.”

    Now that idea has been picked up by all other eight Network Youth Church leaders who between them focus on supporting around 1,500 young people to grow in faith.

    The Advent cards have now been delivered to NYCs. They will be distributed to all young people on their databases to also help reconnect with young people who they may have lost touch with during the pandemic. Other NYCs plan to hand the Advent cards out as part of goodie bags.

    As well as Bible verses and challenges some cards also contain messages from celebrities about their faith.

    NYC runs everything from drop-in youth clubs to question spaces, cafe spaces to prayer spaces, schools work to street-based youth work, outdoor activities and indoor sports.

    Andy Smith, Growing Younger Enabler with the Diocese of Carlisle, said: “It’s wonderful to know that through this project there will be some young people who are able to connect with the wonder of the Christmas story, who may otherwise not have been able to do so.

    “It’s great to see how such an idea can grow from a local context and then be rolled out across the county so that as many young people as possible can read Bible verses, hear how faith has impacted the lives of some of the celebrities they look up to and enjoy a chocolate Advent treat too!”


    Notes for editors

    Click here for more information about Network Youth Churches.

    Picture caption

    Solway Network Youth Church leader Yvette Ladds is pictured with members of the group and some of the Advent calendar bags.

    For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or atcommunications@carlislediocese.org.uk.