Magic of Christmas draws the crowds

More than 300 people braved freezing conditions on Saturday afternoon to enjoy an open air nativity in Lowestoft.

The large crowd gathered at the Sparrows Nest Gardens to witness 25 members of Christ Church perform the seasonal and magical tale of Jesus' birth.

The cast did not let the minus temperatures get in the way of their nativity as they impressed the audience with their acting ability and colourful costumes.

However the cold snap did lead to one change to the nativity as the three wise men were unable to arrive by horse because of the slippery surface by Whapload Road.

The nativity had a strong international feel as Mary and Joseph were played by married couple Markus and Nicole Kankaanpaa who are Swedish and Australian.

Before the show Mrs Kankaanpaa joked that in Australia nativities were performed in glorious hot weather and there was no need to wear multi-layers of clothes to keep warm.

The other stars of the show were Joshua Cook who played Jesus and the two donkeys who carried Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

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Saturday's open air nativity was the second held by Christ Church and it was directed by Roz Payne, wife of the Christ Church vicar Reverend Michael Payne.

Mr Payne said: 'We knew it was going to be cold - but not this cold. It is good to see so many people here today.

'We wanted to present the true story of Christmas as realistic as possible.'

After the nativity a collection was held for the Tearfund relief and development charity.