19 Nov 2013

The Children’s Society reveals one in five parents (21%) do not teach their children the story of Jesus’s birthday, with almost a fifth of UK children unaware of the celebration.

Findings also show that over one in 10 (14%) children believes that 25 December marks Santa Claus’s birthday.

The survey marks the launch of the charity’s Christingle campaign which has seen hundreds of thousands of people across the country celebrate a Christingle event throughout the Christmas period, in support of the charity, for 45 years.

Christingle celebrations are held in churches and schools and are a great way of teaching children the story of Jesus using a Christingle orange to symbolise various elements of the story of Jesus. Children have fun making the Christingles using oranges, candles, red ribbon and sweets while also learning what each part means to Christians and raising money for The Children’s Society.

The Children’s Society works with some of the 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. Donations made through Christingle will go towards the charity’s work with these children and their families to help ensure a better future for them.

This year, TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford along with Alan Titchmarsh are supporting the Christingle campaign.

Eamonn said: 'Christingle events are simple and fun for anyone wanting to help children who find themselves living in poverty. Please get involved.'

Ruth said: 'As a mother, it feels natural for me to protect children living in poverty. Christingle celebrations are wonderful festive events, and a great way to teach children and bring families together.'

Alan said: 'I love Christmas with all the holly and the ivy and poinsettias to brighten up the festive season, singing carols, Christmas pud and turkey. But Christingle reminds us that for many it’s a time of hardship, cold and hunger and it’s tragic to know that millions of children will be going without the essentials this Christmas. Please support Christingle and the work of The Children’s Society and make a real difference this Christmas.'

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'We are very proud to have Eamonn, Ruth and Alan’s support for our Christingle campaign as Christmas is such an important time for our fundraising. It can be a difficult time of year for families living in poverty and money raised by Christingle events will go towards our work making sure disadvantaged children have the best start in life.'

For more information about which of the 5,000 Christingle events happening across England could be in your area and to download free materials please visit www.christingle.org


Media enquiries

For more information please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The poll, carried out by One Poll, surveyed 1,000 adults and 1,000 children aged six-12 across the UK on 9 July 2013.
  • Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford and Alan Titchmarsh are not available for interview.
  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.