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Creative Christians from Kidlington, Oxfordshire reflected on the nativity story as they made a large crib for their church.
The Making Group from St Mary’s Church included a wise woman named Mildred among the characters they created. “We don’t know much about the wise men, and one of the group felt she wanted to make a wise woman,” said the Ven. David Meara, one of the group leaders.
“As people started to make the characters, which is quite a complex process, especially modelling the faces, they began to take on their own characteristics and personality. The people making them felt really engaged with the characters.
“Mary looks young, and the Bible says she was a young girl. Joseph looks a bit grumpy, as you would if you’d travelled a long way and been up all night.
“The process of making the figures brought home what an extraordinary event this must have been for Mary and yet she was obedient to the message of the angels.”
The Revd Felicity Scroggie, Team Vicar of Kidlington with Hampton Poyle, said: “We had a crib which was lovely but very small for our big church. Last year we had a live nativity with a real camel which drew about 700 people despite horrible weather.
“The Making Group offered to make a new crib. It’s not just a craft workshop. This group is about spirituality through making things. They get really engaged and see new perspectives.”
With the crib being the main attraction this year, next year Felicity is planning to stage another live nativity, this time with three camels. The event will be part of the Kidlington and Hampton Poyle 800 – celebrating 800 years of history in the two villages.
And – if you are over 18, under 14 stone in weight, willing to dress as a wise person and fit enough to get on and off, you could win the chance to ride one of the camels in the live nativity. Raffle tickets will be on sale from January to November.