Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Walking Nativity

It's the 100th anniversary of the founding of St Peter's Church, Shipley this year (the church I go to). We have had various events and celebrations throughout the year. Last Sunday we did something we had never tried before - "A Walking Nativity". This involved a walk of about a mile, from church. We followed the Star and stopped every so often to sing a Christmas carol and meet characters from the Bible (played by members of our Youth Group), who enacted scenes from the Nativity story. We saw the Angel Gabriel telling Mary she was going to bear a child, saw Joseph and Mary turned away from the Inn, met shepherds and Wise men and finally arrived at a barn where we found Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus in a manger. An end of sorts - but really just the beginning....

It was lovely and somehow - though there must have been about 200 of us of all ages, adults and children, doing the walk - everyone managed to see and hear and join in the carols. We ended with refreshments in the lovely old oak-framed barn, which is huge - similar to the one on my blog of 1 October - and, happily, belongs to members of our congregation.

I'm glad to be able to include this photo, for three reasons: It reminds us, in the midst of shopping and food, baubles, Santa and plastic snowmen - that Christmas has a deeper meaning. It's also a tribute to our young people - a lively and lovely group, deeply committed to each other and to their faith; youngsters with strong values and tons of creative flair. We see so many negative reports of 'youth', but we do well to remember that the vast majority of young people - those of faith and those with none - are decent, thoughtful, caring and creative. Thirdly, to celebrate all that our churches contribute to society, often unnoticed and unremarked. And the wonderful cross-generational mixing that churches still provide.


  1. Not a church-goer myself, but recognise some of the sentiments from carol singing as a young lad in the 1950s.

  2. Performance beats ritual any day. Sounds like you had both an enjoyable and a meaningful experience.

  3. Some of the good things do get lost in the stress and commercialisation

  4. I was sorry not to be on the walk; but from the photos I've seen it really does look to have been both enjoyable and a great success.

    Hope it gets done again next year.

    As your your picture; that has to be the best shot I've seen of the final tableau and the sepia really adds to it

    and yes, the young people at the church are fantastic. They do so much to counter all the bad press just by being who they are and it is a priviledge to know them.


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