Putting the nativity back at the centre of Christmas

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek will be opening the fifth annual Chipping Sodbury Nativity Crib Festival at St John’s Church today (Tuesday 1 December).

The official opening takes place this evening and the festival will then be open daily until Sunday. Last year 5,000 people came through the doors, so organisers are hoping the weather forecast doesn’t put anyone off.

This year’s theme is ‘Following the star’ and there are expected to be over 160 cribs on display, with displays made from items as varied as loo rolls and bread.

Vicar Yvonne Brae said: “We are aiming to put the nativity back at the centre of Christmas. This is where it all started and we want everyone to have a chance to connect with the Christmas story in a fresh way. People come to see us from as far afield as Wales and the Midlands – they make it a day trip.”

Children from Horton Primary School, Old Sodbury Primary School, Chipping Sodbury School and St John’s Mead School will all be visiting the festival. Children’s crafts and activities will take place every day and on Friday and Saturday morning there will be donkeys visiting the church.

There’s a chance to do some Christmas shopping at the Traidcraft Stall and a café will be open serving hot drinks, cakes, children’s refreshments and at lunchtime bread and soup.

Entry is free, but you can by a £2 guidebook. A percentage of the profits will be going to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and the Sodbury Vale Benefice.

Entry times:

Wednesday 2 December, 10am to 5pm
Thursday 3 December, 11am to 5pm
Friday 4 December, 10am to 9pm
Saturday 5 December, 10am to 5pm
Sunday 6 December, Family Communion at 9.30am, then 11am to 4.30pm

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