Sunday morning was a family service with children staying in for the whole meeting. The meeting featured a nativity when mainly children came dressed in their favourite nativity characters we had plenty of wise men, angels, animals and even a star.
The weather on Sunday 22nd December was dry with not much wind which was remarkable given that the Saturday before and the Monday after featured rain and strong winds all day long. This stormy weather would have prevented the band playing music in the High Street at lunch time to entertain the many Christmas shoppers and adversely impacted the evening event A Journey through Bethlehem.
The New Life Christian Centre is a church located 400 metres from the Salvation Army hall and the two churches joined together to host and run A Journey through Bethlehem. Two presentations at 4.30pm and 7.00pm saw crowds of people enjoy tasty food (vegetable curry, hog roast, turkey served in a roll, roasted chestnuts, mince pies, hot winter punch, tea and coffee).
A variety of live music from a busker, brass band and carol singers. A stable with a donkey, goat, sheep and pony.
Children could meet Father Christmas, have their faces painted, make christingles and christmas decorations.
The centre piece was the journey through the nativity starting in Nazareth in Mary’s home when the angel visits and also Joseph’s workshop. On to Bethlehem navigating past stroppy Roman guards. Meeting the inn keeper then the shepherds followed by the wise men and lastly Herod in his court. Thirteen groups of about 35 people at a time were led through this journey. After the tour there was a room to spend time to reflect or talk to people from the churches.
At the end of each session all of the nativity characters made their way outside to the stable with the animals and people gathered to sing, share a bible reading and a prayer and celebrate that God came to earth in the form of a baby.