Durham city centre will be transformed for the Durham City Nativity taking place in the Market Place on Thursday 10th December at 6.15pm.
Among the attractions will be the wise men arriving on camels, an angel at the Town Hall and King Herodâ€™s sleep being disturbed above the Nat West bank.
Durham City Nativity has something for all the family and as the Market Place becomes first century Bethlehem for the 50 minute performance, thereâ€™ll also be shepherds, innkeepers, Mary and Joseph, a donkey and pony, a bright star, Christmas songs and a very important baby.
The scenes from the Christmas story will be performed by members of St Nicâ€™s church and friends from local drama groups. A fifty strong choir will lead a choral climax to the evening.
After the performance, people are invited into St Nicâ€™s church on the Market Place to enjoy a free hot chocolate, collect a free Christmas comic or book for children, or to light a candle to pray for someone this Christmas.
Adam Deathe, business engagement manager for Durham BID, said: â€œThe live nativity provides great child-friendly entertainment, so wrap up warm and bring the whole family along. Weâ€™re excited to see the story of Christmas brought to life, making the city centre even more enchanting.â€
The Revd Steve Bellamy, of St Nicâ€™s Church, said: â€œThe Durham City Nativity is an unique opportunity for us to see the events of the first Christmas unfold in a different, unusual setting. Itâ€™ll be great fun to experience the Christmas story in the heart of our city as it reminds us that Jesus came into our ordinary everyday world and I hope it adds even more excitement and anticipation to Christmastime this year.
â€œWe have been supported in staging the Durham City Nativity by a micro mission grant from Durham Diocese, Durham BID and the Durham Area Action Partnership to whom we are very grateful.â€
Abi Miles who plays the Angel of the Lord send down to speak to the shepherds said: â€œI’m thrilled to be doing this in my first Christmas at St Nicks. I saw the call for auditions and knew I had to be part of it as I think really important that we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas through this amazing story.
Revd Stephen added: â€œThe Nativity offers us the chance to reach a potentially large group of people for a short time. So we want to make the most of this by inviting everyone to Christmas events including Messy Nativity and a Family Carol Service and then in January the chance to do a Start! course on the basics of Christian faith at All Saints church, Newton Hall and also to come to a an Evening of Comedy and Magic at St Nicâ€™s with Christian comedian John Archer.
â€œThe outcomes we hope for from the Nativity are very much in line with the Diocesan priorities of seeking church growth and also with engaging children and young people.â€