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Farm animals help liven up story of nativity at West Norfolk church

The story of the nativity was well and truly brought to life in Snettisham at the weekend, with the help of animals from a nearby farm.

A donkey, an alpaca and a “very fluffy” rabbit were among the creatures provided by Snettisham Park at St Mary’s Church on Sunday to create a “living tableau” during the retelling of the traditional Christmas story.

Rev Rachel Alexander, rector at St Mary’s, said: “It went really well, I have had lots of positive feedback and comments on it.”

Nativity St Mary’s Church Snetisham.. (24330025)
Nativity St Mary’s Church Snetisham.. (24330025)

Rev Alexander, who was the narrator of the nativity, added: “It’s a village event – a real community thing. There were toddlers through to grandparents there, it’s just a whole family, community, village thing.”

All ages really were represented at the event, with nine-week-old Reggie Nash taking on the role of baby Jesus, in front of a crowd of more than 250 people.

So many people attended the live nativity, which has been held at the church for a number of years now, that more chairs had to be added.

Rev Alexander, who has been rector at St Mary’s since August, said stars were also projected onto the wall of the church over the stable.

“I use a children’s story of the nativity, so it’s reading the story in an accessible way and then the children were acting it out as we went,” she added.

“We had children dressed up as shepherds and kings, and Mary and Joseph came up and led the donkey to the nativity scene at the front.”

Carols also formed part of the nativity service, and throughout the event, people were able to pet some of the animals from Snettisham Park that were there too.

“Children were running around, it wasn’t just sitting in pews,” Rev Alexander added.

“They were able to see it all and enjoy it all, I went and petted some of the animals too.”

St Mary’s Church will also be holding a Christingle service on Christmas Eve at 3pm.

“Lots of children usually come to that, all are welcome.”

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