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Baby-scan Jesus’ poster is this year’s Christmas advert for churches

An ultrasound scan of Jesus in the womb – complete with the suggestion of a halo – is the new poster image for the churches Christmas campaign by ChurchAds.net this year.

The startling image, with the words ‘He’s on his way’ will continue with the on-going campaign line of ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’ launched on bus stops across the country last Christmas.

Chairman of ChurchAds.net, Francis Goodwin said: “This is the kind of thing proud ‘parents-to-be’ show their friends and family – passing round the scan of the baby, or even pinning it up in the office. Our poster reflects this new way of announcing the news of a new arrival and places the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context. It offers a fresh perspective on the birth of Christ – creating anticipation and alluding to both His humanity and divinity.”

ChurchAds.net organisers hope that the poster will capture people’s attention and spark conversations about the birth of this very special baby ,with as much relevance today as 2000 years ago. Commenting on the new poster, the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “For many parents pregnancy gets real when you see the image from the ultrasound scan. It tells you something is actually kicking off. We’ve got so used to the tinsel wrapped cosiness of the carefully packaged 21st century consumer-fest Christmas, that its astonishing reality – an actual pregnancy, a God come down to earth – is easily missed. But this image demands attention. So does this child. He’s on his way.”

Last year’s campaign, on posters and radio, was supported by over 700 churches and reached 20 million people; this year organisers hope the campaign will reach even more and are aiming for 2010 bus stops across the UK in 2010.

Francis Goodwin said: “It may seem very early to be talking about Christmas, but we’d like to make this one of the largest Church Christmas campaigns ever. By booking soon church groups can buy a two week display at their local bus stop for £150. It’s a fantastic opportunity for churches to get a strong Christian message out to the general public. Our vision is to reach 40 million people by seeing the poster displayed on 2010 bus stops in 2010.”

ChurchAds.net will continue to work closely with outdoor advertising company, Clear Channel, which offered bus stop sites to churches last year. Posters will appear from December 6th.

The poster campaign, has been launched on the ChurchAds.net website www.churchads.net and will be supported by radio adverts available for churches to place on their local commercial radio stations. The adverts put the birth of Christ into a contemporary setting and also include the tag-line ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’.

Vice-Chair of ChurchAds.net, Mike Elms said: “Research has revealed that 85% of people agree with the statement that ‘Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country’. But it also shows that only 12% of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail. If Christians really want to keep Christmas focused on Christ, we must work hard at re-telling the story of his birth in ways which engage with ordinary people. We believe our slogan: ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’ helps people connect with our new images each year as we seek to re-tell the Christmas Story in a modern, secular context.”

ChurchAds.Net is an independent ecumenical charity, whose executive team includes senior communications officers from the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and URC churches; from the Church Army and Evangelical Alliance; together with Christians working in secular media and advertising organisations. The charity maintains close links with the leaderships of most major denominations and its work is vetted by a Council of Reference of senior theologians.

Tony is a Media Chaplain, Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. Married with two children. Presenter with Premier Christian Radio and contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45am).

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