Human advent calendar gives sweet message of Christmas in Cirencester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Kim Hartshorne is spreading Christmas cheer in Cirencester Kim Hartshorne is spreading Christmas cheer in Cirencester

SURPRISE gifts are being handed out by a Christian woman on a mission to spread cheer in Cirencester, and remind people of the true message behind Christmas.

Kitted out in a Santa hat and armed with a bag full of Christmas goodies, Kim Hartshorne is acting as a human advent calendar in Cirencester, knocking on random doors to give whoever is inside a gift.

She visits several houses a day in town to generously give away a gift bag of chocolate and a leaflet detailing all the carol services in Cirencester to a very bemused, yet thrilled, resident.

Kim, leads the group Upper Room, a drop-in session for those wanting support and someone to talk to.

She said she wanted to spread the message of Christmas, Advent and the church but did not know how to go about it.

“I finally thought about everyone opening their advent calendars and thought, how about going to people’s doors and taking an advent calendar to them,” she said.

Kim, who is in training to become a Baptist minister, will be out every day in the run-up to Christmas.

She said she was finding her mission incredibly rewarding.

“I knocked on several different doors, all number threes as it was the third of December that day, until a woman answered,” Kim said.

“She was completely nonplussed and said she couldn’t believe someone would come and give her a present for no reason. After I saw the look on her face, I just became so excited.”

Others across the world are also spreading Christmas cheer by acting as a human advent calendar but it is only Kim, with friend and leader of Cirencester Baptist Church Matt Frost, who are doing it in Cirencester.

“It’s all about reaching people who might not go to church usually,” Kim said. “It’s a bit of a laugh but it’s a random act of kindness too.

“People are much less likely to walk into church unless they’ve grown up doing so. So we wanted to spread the message of Christmas by coming to them instead.

“When times are hard it matters more to people. We’re connecting with them. Lots of people see me when I walk around town too. It’s a really interesting way of starting conversations.”

Kim is keeping a blog of her mission. Visit

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:27am Fri 13 Dec 13

bobirving says...

Shame, our number is higher than 24 - she wn't come to us!
Shame, our number is higher than 24 - she wn't come to us! bobirving

Comments are closed on this article.


About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree