Does your church's Nativity set have a wonky donkey or shabby sheep in need of repair? Perhaps it is beginning to look as old as the Christmas story itself? If so, then help is at hand.
John Neale (pictured above), a member of St Luke’s Church, has recently carried out restoration work on a Nativity set from St John's, a church located in the same benefice of Cleckheaton. Previously employed as a decorator, John is a keen artist and craftsmen who began repairing similar Nativity figures last year after noticing the tired state of the set at his home church of St Luke's.
Restoration work carried out on the set from St John's included replacing missing body parts, such as the fingers of baby Jesus and fully repainting the various figures to make them look at their best once more.
"I want the light and love of Christmas, Jesus' birth and life, to be seen at it's best for everyone and that is why I decided to do this repair work," explained John.
"Beyond the simple practicalities, restoring these Nativity sets has also provided me with a real life parable of how God restores us, taking our broken and chipped lives and making them new again."
Many will have noticed damage to their Nativity sets whilst packing them away after the Epiphany and if this is the case at your church, John would be very happy to help. He can be contacted via email at 17j.a.neale [at] gmail.com