Medium and message: Church Army

Two Christian charities are joining forces in a bid to foster optimism in the people of the UK.

Two Christian charities have launched a project to collate the hopes and dreams of the nation for the coming year.

They have kick-started the project by contacting the 3,000 people who live in roads called Hope Street across the UK.

Those who respond will have their thoughts displayed on a new website, www.hopeinfo.co.uk, created by the Church Army and the Christian Enquiry Agency, which went live at the end of last year. It's the public face of Hope 2008, backed by the leaders of all the major churches in Britain and Ireland.

"When we launched the initiative to try to inspire people to live with hope, there was a danger that we would just end up talking to ourselves," says David Coleman, communications manager at the Church Army. "We are often accused of talking down to people, so we wanted to do something to show we really are listening."

A short film called Fresh Hope, put together by Watering Can Media, can be viewed on the site. It tells the story of Charlie, who takes a bus journey that ends with a message of hope, and features voiceovers taken from interviews with ordinary people.

Visitors to the site will have the opportunity to test their 'hopefulness score' and sign up for 'secrets of hope', a weekly email to help people be more optimistic about the future.

"It's intended to be an open project, but if we get a good response we might put a book together," says Coleman.

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