With the official countdown to Christmas now underway, an innovative advent calendar is being revealed – one day at a time, of course – in the courtyard of the New Room, opposite Boots in Broadmead.

The first few days included a snowman asking “what are you most looking forward to at Christmas?” and a picture of Mary the mother of Jesus portrayed as a young woman with a nose stud and a mobile phone.

Mandy Briggs, education officer at the New Room, said: “It seemed odd to have no advent calendar in Broadmead, so we set ourselves the challenge of coming up with something special that would have enduring appeal throughout the entire run-up to Christmas.

“Our calendar focuses on the meaning of Christmas but with a contemporary edge, and judging from the responses we’ve received to the first few days’ images we’re certainly succeeding in engaging people’s interest.”

Mandy is also sharing the advent calendar online via Facebook (The New Room/John Wesley’s Chapel),Twitter (@NewRoomBristol) and Instagram (thenewroombristol)

As well as the calendar, and the twinkling lights in the courtyard – organised in association with the Methodist Ark Bus team – there is also an evolving display of Christmas baubles created by visitors to the New Room.

Mandy said: “Lots of shoppers and workers pop into the chapel quite regularly to give themselves a moment of stillness, away from the hubbub of the city centre, and this month everyone is being invited to inscribe a bauble with their hopes and dreams for next year which can be added to our courtyard display.

“We’re going to end up with a very beautiful and totally unique collection created by the people of Bristol, and we want the public to know that they’re very welcome to pop by and have a look, and equally welcome to grab a moment of peace and quiet in the chapel, or some of the Christmas specials on offer in our café.”

The New Room will be open as usual throughout the festive season from 10.30am-4pm, Monday to Saturday, and has also organised a series of seasonal musical events and services.