Brits prefer pews to panto at Christmas

mother and two children at a Christmas service
01 December 2011

Two-fifths of adults celebrate Christmas by going to church or attending a Christmas carol service, reveals a poll commissioned by The Children’s Society to coincide with its annual Christingle appeal.

This is almost double the number who go to see a pantomime or theatre show (22%) and three times as many as those who take part in charity work over the festive season. Just over one in ten adults go on holiday for Christmas (14%).

With over 6000 Christingle services taking place across the country, The Children’s Society's Christingles are a magical way for children to raise money and awareness for other children less fortunate than themselves. Children at the services all receive a Christingle, an orange decorated with a lighted candle, red ribbon, fruit and sweets.

'The poll shows that thousands of people are celebrating Christmas at church and one way to join them is to come along to one of The Children’s Society’s Christingle services. As well as having fun with the family, you will be helping to support vulnerable children,' said Elaine Hindal, director of The Children's Society's Campaign for Children division.

Our campaign this year focuses on making runaways safe. Every five minutes a child runs away from home. These young people can find themselves on the streets out in the cold and alone at Christmas. This year, The Children's Society, through its Christingle services is raising money to help children and young people who run away from home. 

The Christingle season runs between now and February.

More information is available online for The Children's Society's Christingle appeal and its Make Runaways Safe campaign. Alternatively, call 0845 300 1128 for more information.

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society is a leading national charity, driven by our Christian values of love, justice and forgiveness and the belief that every child deserves a good childhood. Our Make Runaways Safe campaign is driving forward our aim to help the most vulnerable children in the UK – an aim which is also realized in our projects spread across the country, including work with disabled children, young carers and young refugees.
  • Research was conducted by GfK NOP via a nationally representative telephone omnibus survey of 1000 adults aged 16+. Fieldwork was conducted 11-13 November. Weighting was applied to the data to bring it in line with national profiles.