A traditional nativity staged by the Methodist church for all to visit in Epworth will take an alternative form this year.
Previously, the ‘live’ stable with donkey Dylan and other animals has featured alongside a nativity scene displayed by members of the Wesley Methodist Memorial Chapel on High Street.
The Rev Angela Long, superintendent of the Epworth and Scunthorpe Methodist Circuit, explained: “This year our nativity will be a little different. Sadly there will be no donkey or sheep but we hope people will still come to look at our contribution and raise money for charities working in this country and abroad.”
She continued: “We are planning a display to highlight the connections between the displacement of Mary, Joseph and Jesus and the issues of homelessness and refugees in this country and around the world.”
She added: “The congregation is very aware of the situation with homelessness in all its forms across the world. It feels as if homelessness and poverty have been in the news in so many ways all year.”
She continued: “What we hope to do is put together a fairly traditional nativity display which will be at the front of the church garden next to the road. However, the Holy family will be in a tent and around them will be news stories about homelessness. The question it poses is ‘Who will make us room?”
The church is open daily from 9am-5pm with material from charities available for people to take away, and a collection to be divided between The Methodist Church’s Relief fund in Haiti and The Red Cross. A prayer corner allows visitors to leave prayer requests.
The ‘Grand Unveiling’ of this year’s Nativity will be on Saturday, December 17, at 4.30pm, and refreshments by way of soup and rolls will be available.