St Mary's church shows off nativity diplay made by school kids
PUBLISHED: 12:08 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 27 December 2019
St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington is proudly displaying a life-size nativity scene made by year six students at St Mary's school.
The students made the realistic display by covering willow sticks with paper mache and the church's Reverend, Dilly Baker, wants more people in the area to come and see it.
She told the Gazette why the nativity story is still relevant today: "We see a huge increase in the number of displaced people across the globe and homelessness.
Baby Jesus was born into poverty and was the child of a refugee family. [He] was immersed in a world that was fractured and frightening and [one] where there was persecution - and we are still within that context. As Christians we have to fight for something better, to look for signs of hope and work for a more loving and just world."
The church hosted a pop-up nativity on Saturday and got kids in costume taking part in a re-telling of the 2000 year-old-story.
Children also participated in a more recent tradition called the Christingle. The celebration originated in Germany but has since been made popular in England by national charity The Children's society.
Christingles are oranges decorated with red ribbon, sweets and candles.
"Everyone holds their Christingle and all the lights go out and it's magical. Then we sing carols [like Silent Night].
Everybody loves it and we have a big collection for the Children's Society," said the Reverend.
Reverend Dilly also thinks the nativity story offers people the opportunity to step back from the madness and chaos of everyday life and get in touch with their dreams and aspirations.
But she says churches are very aware, that for some, Christmas can be a very lonely time.
"I think that's particularly where the family of the church is important because, at it's best, the church is always a place of belonging and community," she said.
The church will be having a big carol service on December 22 where St Mary's community choir will make its debut performance.
St Mary's Church runs The Children's Society relies on donations at Christmas to help vulnerable children in the United Kingdom.
To donate click here