Visitors to businesses in a Norfolk town centre were greeted by an extra couple of faces this week as the town’s preparations for Christmas started to gather pace.

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Figures depicting Jesus’ parents Mary and Joseph have visited schools and shops in Wymondham as part of a tradition known as Posada, which originated in Mexico and has been taken up by the town’s Methodist Church.

The Rev Jacqui Horton, minister of Wymondham Methodist Church, said the idea was to try and encourage people to think about the true religious meaning of Christmas which she felt had become lost in recent times due to increasing non-religious imagery around the festive season.

The 3ft 6inch high Mary and 4ft tall Joseph, made from the corrugated plastic correx, began touring the town at the start of the Advent period on December 2 and had visited nine local schools, before making their 11th stop at Hair Design in Back Lane on Tuesday.

The figures are visiting a different venue in the town each day until Christmas Eve and are set to make further stops in the town centre at Wymondham Day Care Centre and The Lemon Tree cafe in Damgate Street among others before the tour ends.

Methodists in Attleborough have also held a Posada in their town to spread the relisgious message at Christmas.

Rev Horton said: “It is fun. It is a way for the church to engage with the community. It is a way for biblical characters representing the real meaning of Christmas to be in the community.”

The figures are also set to visit Reeves the Stationers and the town’s Waitrose store before finishing.

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