Last Sunday evening we had our annual Christingle event. It’s hugely popular. We get people who come to this who don’t tend to come to anything else. They tend to be families with pre-school or young primary aged children.It’s not a teenager thing!
This year, we did things differently. In the past we’ve had a short talk explaining what the Christingle is and then sent the kids out with our team of children’s workers to construct it. The advantage of this approach is that it means you can address the adults whilst the kids are out. But it’s often struck me as odd that we separate the kids from their families. There are issues with that. The kids don’t know our children’s workers, the more sensitive parents feel nervous, some kids don’t go and they cause a distraction when the talk is going on.The carol events tend to be the events that we run where people are furthest away from regular contact with church. And so there are trust and confidence issues on the part of the visitor. It’s no wonder that they feel a bit nervous as their kids disappear off for fifteen minutes. I’m pretty sure they don’t concentrate on the talk when I get up to speak. And so it seemed to make sense to accommodate to our visitors’ concerns.
And so this year we decided to keep the family unit together. We had more limited aims. But it really worked. Every family was given a ‘construction kit’ for each child. The families stayed together and we built the Christingle throughout the service. I made some explanatory comments about the symbolism of the Christingle. And we interspersed my comments with some carols.
In case it’s of any help, here’s the talk I gave.