NarniaLeading up to the release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the American media has been full of stories about the religious content of the films, and how the involvement of individual US churches is expected to boost audiences, much the way it did with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. What we've not heard much about, however, is how the film is being handled by UK churches - not surprisingly, they're getting involved as well.

The largest, most organized Narnia-related activity has been undertaken by Christian Publishing and Outreach (CPO), an evangelical group that is sending out Narnia packets to its network of 20,000 churches. The packets, which among other things include "a what-to-do guide, outlines that give ministers ideas on how to deliver sermons, [and] material for Sunday schools" are adorned with a pair of images from the movie, officially licensed by Disney. In addition to CPO's work, various churches around the country are staging "NarniaDays," giving out free tickets to the movie, and presenting Narnia-themed sermons. Even without this church-related promotion, the movie is going to have a huge opening weekend - it'll be interesting to see if the work of religious organizations on both sides of the Atlantic has a measurable effect on increasing attendance.