St Leonard’s Christmas Crib Hunt and Morning Service
A treat for children on Christmas Eve was a Christmas Crib Hunt through St Leonard’s Church, out into the graveyard and then back to the New Land by the Red Lion. The incessant rain over the last few days was replaced by a lovely clear afternoon.
Family groups were first welcomed in poetry in the church by A Christmas Angel (pictured). They were then directed to Mary sweeping the floor who explained(again in poetry) that she was expecting a baby. Out in the Churchyard they met Joseph who shared (poetry here also) his confusion about Mary’s pregnancy but that an angel had told him to take her with him to Bethlehem. Then some Shepherds spoke (you guessed it in poetry) of seeing a whole host of angels and asked the children how they would feel if they were asked to go to Bethlehem like they had been. Wise Men were next complete with telescope. They had managed to see the Bethlehem star (which few of us have seen this year). A dark glassed innkeeper with a fine stripey cloak (dressing gown??) showed them how they were no beds in his inn (the mower shed). Finally they met a very cold Mary and Joseph, their baby and a couple of sheep. Another wise man was there to welcome them with some hot chocolate and a small treat bag as they left.
Midnight Communion was attended by 40 people. Then on a sunny Christmas morning 80 people gathered to sing on the new land. The vicar marvelled at how the whole heavenly host of angels (represented in the church porch) was sent to sing not to the powerful (Jerusalem) or even at Bethlehem but to shepherds who were social outcasts out on the hills. Thats how God comes into our world.