Photo gallery: Dozens of Nativity sets go on display at North Lopham church

It is a story that is told in homes, churches, and school productions across the world in the run up to Christmas.

And the different portrayals of Mary, Joseph, three Kings, and the baby Jesus will be on show from today when a south Norfolk church opens its first Crib Festival.

More than 50 Nativity sets have gone on display at St Nicholas Church in North Lopham, near Diss, after church officials decided to do something to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.

Cribs of all sizes, including hand-made creations from as far afield as Bethlehem, Italy, Kenya, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador, will be on view at the church until Friday.

The Nativity sets range from a tiny paper one no bigger than a match box to grand wooden cribs on loan from local churches. The festival also includes cribs made out of wool, leather, soapstone, brushes, clay and a Teddy bear and rubber duck themed Nativity.

Organiser Jennie Vere, a member of the local church council, said the idea came after they were trying to find a new home for the North Lopham crib in February.

'The church crib is too heavy to go up in the loft every year and the people that owned another one did not have any space, so we thought we would put them on display and the idea just grew and grew and people have been so inspired and want to take part. The number of people who have said they are going to come has been overwhelming,' she said.

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The church has been loaned the Nativity sets of neighbouring churches in South Lopham, Bressingham, and Roydon as the inaugural festival has grown.

In addition to the Nativity sets, there is a display of stamp designs from round the world, the story depicted in cross stitch, in carols and in literature and there will be a story on view on an iPad to appeal to younger visitors.

The North Lopham Crib Festival is free to enter and is open between 10am and 4pm each day.

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