Page last updated at 04:45 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 05:45 UK

'30-second Nativity' competition

Christian cross
The network is offering a prize of 500 for the best entry

A competition to tell the Christmas story in 30 seconds or less has been launched by a Christian group.

It will run alongside a Churches Advertising Network (CAN) radio campaign retelling the Christmas story.

Churches, youth groups and individuals can submit entries in the style of either radio adverts or YouTube videos.

CAN said the impetus for the campaign came from a poll last year suggesting only 12% of adults knew the details of the biblical Christmas story.

New generation

Francis Goodwin, chairman of the network, said: "We hope youngsters will write, text, record, video, paint the Christmas story in under 30 seconds.

"This campaign and the competition will be a catalyst for churches to get involved all over the country.

"We hope they will use this to reach out to a new generation that often isn't being brought up with the message of hope embodied in the news of Jesus' birth at the heart of the Christmas story."

He said pressures to secularise Christmas showed that they could not be complacent about promoting the Christmas story.

The network is offering a prize of 500 for the best entry.

The campaign features two adverts presenting the Christmas story in the style of horseracing and football commentaries, ending with the line: "Why not be part of the action at church this Christmas?"

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