Newborn baby and EastEnders star help Woolpit bring Christmas story to life
A newborn baby took the starring role in the Christmas story as it was brought to life by villagers in Woolpit - with a little help from an EastEnders actor.
The nativity walk involved about 22 residents of all ages dressed as angels, inn keepers, Herod, shepherds and wise men who journeyed from the Plough Inn car park to St Mary’s Church.
Gemma and Justin Relf were Mary and Joseph and their newborn son Frankie was the baby Jesus while his brother Archie, aged two, was a sheep.
Actor Ian Lavender, who lives in the village, provided the narration. It was an apt role as he recently returned to BBC soap EastEnders as Derek Harkinson, who is involved in the show’s festive play.
During the walk, which also featured a donkey, they knocked on the doors of shops in the village before reaching the church.
They sang carols along the way and were followed into the church by about 80 people.
At the church, Mary and Joseph sheltered in a stable built by parishioner and Bury St Edmunds resident Sue Griffin.
There was a collection for St Nicholas Hospice Care and funds raised from the sale of refreshments will go to the church.
Rev Ruth Farrell, who co-produced the nativity walk with Sue Griffin, said: “I was very happy with how the walk about nativity went.
“It was lovely to see a wide cross section of people join in - both taking part as actors and coming along to participate in the story.
“The story of Jesus’ birth is timeless - as a simple story it appeals to people of all ages and as the revelation of God’s love for all humanity it is still profoundly moving for all of us.”