Giant advent calendar at St Mary’s Church, Attleborough counts down the days until Christmas

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Pauline Parnell-Hopkinson

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Pauline Parnell-Hopkinson from the Attleborough Writers' Group unveiling their window. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

A giant advent calendar has been created by community groups to help count down the days until Christmas.

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Mary Dark from St Mary's M

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Mary Dark from St Mary's Mothers' Union unveils the window for December 3. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

St Mary's Church in Attleborough has a festive art project each year.

This year groups across the town have risen to the challenge of designing an artistic scene in a shoebox, with one being unveiled each day until Christmas Eve.

The church has a busy programme of events to celebrate yuletide, which started with a nativity play at 10am on Sunday, December 17.

On the same day, at 6.30pm, a traditional carol service used words and music to tell the Christmas story, with mulled wine and mince pies served afterwards.

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Attleborough First Brownie

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Attleborough First Brownies produced 'Carol Singers' for December 6. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

On Christmas Eve hundreds of people will attend the popular family crib service and Christingle which begins at 4.30pm.

There is also a Christmas Eucharist at Besthorpe Church at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve.

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The arrival of Christmas Day is marked in the time-honoured way with the Midnight Mass at 11.30pm in St Mary's.

On Christmas Day there are services of Holy Communion at 8am and 10am. The church will also be serving a Christmas Day lunch for those who would otherwise be eating alone.

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Chapel Road School with th

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Chapel Road School with their box for December 15. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

Other highlights include Christmas story time in partnership with Attleborough Library – an afternoon for children to enjoy stories and crafts in the run up to the big day – on Thursday, December 21 from 2pm to 3.30pm in St Mary's.

It is completely free but children must be accompanied by an adult.

There is also a special service planned for people who have been bereaved recently or for whom Christmas will be hard. It is organised in partnership with Rosedale Funeral Home and takes place on Tuesday, December 19 at 7.30pm.

St Mary's will host a performance of Handel's Messiah on Friday, December 29 at 6pm. Tickets cost £5.

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. The Advent calendar in St

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. The Advent calendar in St Mary's porch. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

The Rev Matthew Jackson, Rector of Attleborough, said: 'It's a delight to welcome people to our Christmas services as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.'

For more information about the events this Christmas, call the St Mary's office on 01953 454 977 or email attleboroughchurch@btinternet.com

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. The craft group at Attlebo

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. The craft group at Attleborough Library produced 'Families prepare for Christmas' for December 4. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Susan's Work Basket contri

St Mary's Church Attleborough's large advent calendar for Christmas 2017. Susan's Work Basket contributed the box for December 5: 'Children opening an Advent calendar'. Picture: ST MARY'S CHURCH ATTLEBOROUGH - Credit: Archant

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