Archbishop Sentamu’s invitation to Follow the Star this Christmas


Gatehouse at Bishopthorpe Palace with illuminated star at the top

A giant star has been illuminated on the front of the Gatehouse at Bishopthorpe Palace today, placed there as part of #FollowTheStar - the Church of England’s invitation to travel in the footsteps of the Wise Men to meet Jesus.

All churches are being encouraged to be ‘star churches’ by displaying a prominent star ahead of the ‘night of the stars’ on Friday, 21 December 2018. The aim of the stars is to inspire people to visit A Church Near You website and #FollowTheStar to find their local church Christmas service.

The Archbishop, clergy and church members from the Deanery of York have also shared seasonal beer mats in pubs, bars, cafés and church halls across the City, inscribed with the message ‘Why not make my local your local this Christmas? Follow the Star to your local church to encounter Jesus Christ, God’s Son: my Friend and Lord.’ 

The Archbishop said, “Christmas is a wonderful time in the church’s calendar where we share the Good News of the birth of Jesus. Like the wise men who followed the star in search of the new-born king, we too are invited on the journey to encounter not only the baby in the stable, but the Risen Lord Jesus who died for us so that we might experience life in all its fullness. At the first Christmas God came to earth in Jesus – fantastic! I would encourage everyone to follow the star to their local church and hear again the greatest story ever told.”

To find out more about services and events at your local church this Christmas, visit

#FollowTheStar: A journey through the 12 days of Christmas can be accessed for free by email or app. This offers fourteen daily reflections – beginning on Christmas Eve and finishing on the Epiphany (6 January). You can sign up and find out more about the #FollowTheStar campaign at