In Swaledale in the north of the diocese, Mary and Joseph have been visiting events, businesses and church services throughout Advent. The Mary and Joseph in question are knitted figures who are part of a ‘Posada’ – a Latin American tradition in which the model of the crib figures which is passed from place to place, spending the night in a different home.
So far the Swaledale Posada has used the yellow community ‘Buttercup Bus’ to visit the Hair Salon in Reeth, the Fat Sheep shop, Reeth Memorial Hall, St Andrew’s Church Grinton, the Bridge Club at Fremington and the Community Library – among many locations.
They have their own Facebook page –www.facebook.com/SwaledalePosada2015/ and will be appearing on Premier Christian radio at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve, in a programme about preparations for Christmas which includes the local Muker Silver band, the Posada and local children singing Christmas carols and playing instruments.
Following the star through a Dales village….
Villagers in Askwith and Denton, part of the Washburn and Mid-Wharfe benefices, will be following a star via the local village hall and the pub before ending up at a farm for their first ever Nativity Trail, taking place on the evening of December 22nd.
The events of the first Christmas are being recreated by a cast of local people beginning at Askwith Village Hall (Nazareth) before Joseph and Mary, local couple Rob and Kathryn Marston travel to the Askwith Arms – the Inn in Bethlehem – and on to a poor cow shed at Ibbotson’s farm. There the lowly farmer and his wife, Howard and Carol, will offer them a manger and some straw. A little later baby Harry Marston will make his guest appearance as the baby Jesus.
The Revd Graham Shield, the Vicar, Washburn and Mid-Wharfe has been assembling a cast of shepherds, wise men and angels to take part in the Nativity Trail. He said, “I’ve not done a Nativity Trail before but it came out of a conversation with Rob and Kathryn who I had married the prevous March after the blessing of their new cubicle sheds and milking parlour. They, plus bump (Harry was Christened in Oct), would be The Holy Family and we’d walk and sing from the Village Hall to the pub and along to one of their old sheds. This seems to have caught on in the parish.”
The Trail starts at 7pm at Askwith Village Hall.