Nativity takes to the streets of Bingley

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A pregnant Mary, played by Sharon Thompson, is helped to the stables by the inn keeper’s wife in Bingley A pregnant Mary, played by Sharon Thompson, is helped to the stables by the inn keeper’s wife in Bingley

Mary, Joseph and a donkey went walk-about through Bingley on Saturday during a Nativity parade which had angels, wise men and even a flock of sheep.

Setting off from the 5-Rise precinct in search of inns, the room-hunting couple then tried in vain at Wetherspoons, The Library Tap and finally the Ferrands Arms, where they were guided to an artfully-built stable in the Old Market Cross.

Carols and a hundred-strong throng of well-wishers accompanied them during Bingley’s first grand Christmas procession which was the brainchild of All Saints’ Parish Church and organised with Holy Trinity, Bingley and Bingley Town Management.

Shoppers were drawn to the celebration in the Market Square, during which the Christmas story was narrated via loudspeaker.

King Herod, shepherds and well-behaved sheep all played their part in the lunchtime event.

And in the shelter of the stable, Mary and Joseph, also known as local couple Sharon and David Thompson, revealed the star of the show – baby Jesus, played by their own little son Samuel.

“Ooh – it’s a real baby!” one lady called out to her friends, who then quickly joined her at the front of the audience.

Rain held off throughout and blue sky appeared as All Saints vicar the Rev Beverley Mason thanked all those who had taken part and gave a Christmas Blessing.

“It’s great so many people came together to celebrate Christ’s birth, it really fires the imagination,” the Rev Mason said afterwards. “We had great support, Ben the donkey and the fluffy sheep were brilliant – and the sun even shone,” she said.

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