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Charlesworth schools re-enact ‘walking Nativity’
Thursday 22nd December 2016 @ 20:26 by Adam Higgins
Charlesworth Community News

Pupils from two village schools turned Charlesworth into Bethlehem and Hayfield to Austria to make Christmas extra special.

The Federation of All Saints and St Margaret’s Catholic Primary Schools helped retell the Nativity story with a mile-long walking tableaux.

A few days later, 30 children from Years 3 and 4 in Tyrolean clothes, hopped on a bus for an Alpine excursion with a difference.

The ‘walking Nativity,’ which was organised for the fourth Christmas by local actress Kathy Holmes, saw both schools and children from Kinderview Nursery, trekking from Charlesworth to St Margaret’s School.

Led by Olwyn Brown from Broadbottom and her donkey, Mary and Joseph, followed by scores of children and villagers, re-enacted the Christmas story by calling at a tavern asking for shelter.

Joseph, played by Dave from the drama team at nearby St John’s Church, knocked on the doors of the Grey Mare and the George and Dragon asking for shelter, only to be told there was no room at the inn.

With local actress Rivkah playing Mary, on the back of the donkey, they walked to the ‘stables’, a crib made from bales of straw at St Margaret’s, where the Nativity story enfolded with the birth of Jesus and visit of the wise men and shepherds.

It was totally different Christmas story a few days later when federation teachers Diane Noakes and Stephanie Deering took a schools’ curriculum challenge out of the classroom and into ‘snowy’ Hayfield.

The children had chosen Austria as the subject of an exercise looking at how different countries celebrate Christmas.

Diane, who lives in Hayfield, contacted the village cricket club and Pack Horse pub and for a few hours on Monday they became part of Austria.

She said: “The children had a great time and I would like to thank everyone who made it possible.

“Luke and Emma at the Pack Horse for the meal, and the staff and parents who served it.

“The children wore Austrian national costume, we gave them boarding passes and they got on a coach not knowing where they were going.”

It was a magical experience which saw the cricket pavilion transformed into a winter wonderland, while outside there was a Nativity scene, with a reappearance of Olwyn’s donkey.

Then there was a 15 minute snowball fight with artificial snowballs.

Kinder Mountain Rescue Team brought St Nicholas and elf Josie Mann, in their decorated sleigh to hand out gifts.

There was even a Maria Von Trapp lookalike!

The children sampled the non-alcoholic version of traditional Austrian drink gluhwein.

In the Pack Horse they ate the Austrian dish wiener schnitzel followed by apple strudel.

The Austrian Christmas continued with ‘Silent Night’ sung in German.

There was even a visit from ‘half ghost half demon’ Krampus who takes back presents from naughty children, not that there were any.


By David Jones


Main picture:

Time for gifts: Father Christmas hands over a present to a child whilst elf Josie Mann looks on