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Traditional Christmas story is performed for festive shoppers in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 09:40 22 December 2014

Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre.

Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre.

©archant2014

The traditional Christmas story was brought to life in Lowestoft town centre as a crowd gathered to watch an open-air Nativity play.

Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre. Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre.

The story of the first Christmas was retold on Saturday as members of Christ Church hosted an event for all the family.

About 75 people gathered in the winter sunshine to watch the story unfold, as Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem – outside the British Heart Foundation shop in London Road North – during two live performances.

And getting into the festive spirit, the crowds joined in with singing five Christmas carols as a band of musicians from the church took centre stage.

The nativity was narrated by David Ryczanowski, and was closely based on the original Bible reports of the birth of Jesus, as contained in Matthew’s gospel and Luke’s gospel.

Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre. Members of the Christ Church hold an open air nativty in Lowestoft Town centre.

Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem – Lowestoft town centre – with two donkeys, as church members played the shepherds and angels, the innkeeper, wise men and Bethlehem villagers.

Joseph and Mary were played by Samuel and Aver Onaiwi, and their baby daughter Emmanuela – who was born at the James Paget University Hospital in June – was Jesus asleep on the hay throughout.

The Vicar of Christ Church, the Rev Matthew Payne, was pleased with how the performances had gone, with donations accepted for the British Heart Foundation and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

He wished everyone a happy Christmas and thanked Darren Newman, of Lowestoft Vision, for his support, the British Heart Foundation for providing the power supply, Lydia Ward for providing the donkeys, and the Christ Church members for all their efforts.

Rev Payne said: “The heart of the message is what the angels said to the shepherds: ‘To you is born this day, in the city of David, a saviour, who is Christ, the Lord.’ We all need to think it over: who is this baby? What do I need saving from? What does ‘Lord’ really mean?”

With the focus on the real message of Christmas, the two street theatre performances were hailed a success. Darren Newman, Lowestoft Vision BID manager, said they had been approached by Christ Church about holding the open-air Nativity after similar performances were successfully held at Sparrow’s Nest park in Lowestoft a few years ago.

Mr Newman said: “It is great to see lots of people turning out in the town for this festive celebration.”

Christ Church, in Whapload Road, is the easternmost parish of the Church of England.

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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