VIDEO: Woolpit brings nativity story to life

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The Christmas story was brought to life on Saturday when Woolpit held its first ever nativity walk.

Villagers dressed as shepherds, angels, kings and animals gathered at the Plough car park in Green Road to begin their journey from ‘Woolpit to Bethlehem’.

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

Carols were sung as crowds and performers made their way through the village, directed by narrator Ian Lavender, a Woolpit resident and actor best known for his role as Private Frank Pike in the BBC comedy series Dad’s Army.

Among characters to appear was Gareth Hatton as Angel Gabriel (on steps positioned behind a gate), Simon Dean and Sheila Beswick as King Herod and his special advisor and the three wise men, Sarah and Richard Longmate and Michael Ellis.

Joseph and Mary, played by Ben and Georgina Munford, knocked on doors of local businesses in search of somewhere to stay and were turned away by Beyond The Fringe, Palmers Bakery and Teacups Tea Rooms before Jonny Aldis, landlord of The Swan Inn, offered them a glimmer of hope.

Past donkeys, sheep and a stunning ram, the couple made their way to the stable in St Mary’s Church where Jesus, otherwise known as baby Fraiser, joined them.

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

With a witty, well delivered script created by The Reverend Ruth Farrell, rector of Drinkstone and Woolpit, and with wonderful costumes (some made and some borrowed) for all who took part, Woolpit’s first nativity walk was a huge success.

Sue Griffin, who coordinated the walk, said: “We usually have a Christmas tree festival but this year the organisers felt it had had its day so last month we came up with this.

“Because Woolpit’s such a great community that pulls together, it was very easy in many ways.

“It was a community effort and a team effort - we all had a role and fulfilled it and came together.

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

“I thought it was very good and it was great fun.”

Grateful for everyone’s support, Rev Farrell said: “This isn’t just a story for church goers, it’s a story for us all and it’s nice to get everybody involved.”

Mike Birt, who also helped make the walk possible, said: “It’s been a great way of welcoming Christmas. If it becomes an annual thing, we’d like to do similar sorts of things throughout the year where we involve the community and have a bit of fun.”

Ian Lavender narrates the live nativity play as it winds its way through Woolpit

Ian Lavender narrates the live nativity play as it winds its way through Woolpit

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk

Woolpit to Bethleham Nativity Walk