Nativity in North Walsham church

Angels, kings and shepherds will fill North Walsham church today as a 220-strong cast from the town's infants school stages a traditional nativity play.

There was a last minute change of lead role when Joseph went down with chickenpox, with Riley Gotts stepping into the part vacated by the poorly Teejay Baylis, but otherwise plans were going smoothly at yesterday's rehearsal.

Head Clare Fletcher said the school liked to do a traditional nativity telling the story of the first Christmas to reinforce the real message of the festive season.

'It is important to show that it is not all about Father Christmas and getting gifts,' she added.

'We teach the story through religious education lessons too, so they understand it is about giving and not just receiving, and is a story of love and looking after your neighbours.

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'For many children it is there first experience of a nativity play. The church is always packed with parents and grandparents, and people who just drop in, who also enjoy being reminded of their nativity plays when they wore tinsel or tea towels on their heads,' said Mrs Fletcher.

The cast includes 86 children in roles ranging from kings to innkeepers, a 40-strong choir, group of 12 percussionists and eight ocarina players.

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The other main parts are Olivia Shingles as Mary, McKenzie Wilson as the Angel Gabriel, three wise men Zac Cross, Sam Merritt and Kyle Gray and a soloist chorister Isabella Lopez.

The infants school will also be taking its Christmassy music 'on tour' as usual with visits to local old people's homes, and a mass singing session at the Market Cross on Friday December 17 at 10am.

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