Christmas is not too far away but celebrating Christmas at the end of November seemed a little too early for me. However, once I entered the King’s Centre in Chessington I was transported back to Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.  

Last week 10 local primary schools in the Chessington and Hook area visited the King’s Centre for a re-telling of the Christmas story.  

In the course of the one and a half hours that the children were in the Centre, they were told the what, how and (most importantly) the why of Christmas.  

It was a real privilege to be involved with over 25 other volunteers.   Some of the volunteers were on the catering, others were shepherds (tour guides) and then of course there were actors who were brilliant at re-telling the Christmas story. The story was started way back at Creation, when sin entered the world, and then finished, after the Christmas story, up at the present day, as we heard the message of forgiveness and salvation. During the Christmas Journey, the children met Mary, the Angel Gabriel, Joseph and the Wise men, where they heard the Christmas story unfold, in a succession of themed tents; the children also met a noisy donkey and a sheep in the stable. ‍

For those who didn’t see themselves as the next Brad Pitt or Sandra Bullock there was an opportunity to serve in the Craft Zone, where the children made star decorations,  or in the Thinking Zone where the children were asked what Christmas meant to them, and then what Christmas means to Christians, before having any questions answered on The Christmas Journey, or on Christianity itself.

I am a big fan of the Christmas Journey and it gave both churches (Chessington and Hook) the opportunity to talk to over 500 children over the course of the three days. Many families also came in on the Wednesday afternoon when it was open to anyone to visit The Christmas Journey.

In the Spring of 2018 we will be delivering something very similar called the Easter Experience.  If you’re free or even if you take some days off work - get involved!