Youngsters to follow festive custom

Children in Thetford are getting ready for Christmas by “making room” for Mary and Joseph. Following a Mexican tradition, Posada, in which the parents of Jesus go from house to house during the weeks leading up to Christmas, two small, brightly coloured wooden figures will spend the night with families, local businesses and schools.

Children in Thetford are getting ready for Christmas by “making room” for Mary and Joseph.

Following a Mexican tradition, Posada, in which the parents of Jesus go from house to house during the weeks leading up to Christmas, two small, brightly coloured wooden figures will spend the night with families, local businesses and schools.

Jean Donnelly, leader of the Children's Friday Club at Church of the Nazarene on Croxton Road, said that they hoped to establish a tradition, started last year, which reflects the events of the first Christmas, when there was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph and for Jesus to be born.

Last year, the figures found room at the local inn, the Norfolk Terrier, as well as with local families, shops and schools, before returning to the church for the annual Christmas Eve Carol Service, where the full set of Nativity figures was part of the evening. With the help of their hosts, they also kept a colourful diary of their travels.

If any household, especially in the vicinity of the church, would like to have Mary and Joseph to stay for a night, perhaps for a family event such as a birthday, they can contact the church, or call Jean Donnelly, on Thetford 750860. Jean assures anyone interested that they are very well-behaved guests, and everyone who welcomed them last year enjoyed having them to stay. And of course, all are welcome at the Christmas Eve Carol Service at 7pm.

This year the Church of the Nazarene is planning a nativity play with a difference - it will take place outdoors, with live animals. Sheep and a donkey are already promised, but so far the church has not been able to find any camels! The play will take place on Sunday, December 21 at 6pm with wise men, shepherds, and Mary and Joseph making their way from the surrounding estates. Again, all welcome, with hot drinks promised afterwards.

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