Churches work hard year after year to come up with creative themes for their traditional carol services. Mark’s take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol provides a suitable theme, while preserving the traditional carol service feel.

In the original story, Scrooge is haunted by ghosts of the past, present and future, but he is also given the chance to change. Combining carols with Christmas readings from the Bible, Mark uses four clips from The Muppet Christmas Carol to weave in his talk throughout the evening, presenting it as three mini talks. This builds the theme, giving the service purpose and direction. The advantage of this approach is that the talk is an integral part of the service rather than being tagged on at the end. The result is a more rounded service.

While Mark provides a basic template to fit around the talks, there is plenty of space to add your own items, such as dramas, readings and carols.