I love looking to see what local events are going on around Christmas time. From Nativities in farm yards, Pyjama parties, Pantomines, Christmas light roads, and winter walks and craft events for kids I’ve found so many treasures over the years that I’m so glad have become part of my children’s childhood. Journey To Bethlehem is one of the greatest of those treasures. A local church have discovered ways to transform its building, linking the halls, the church itself and lots of the little office rooms into Bible times. I know the building so well but with the clever use of costume, drapes, lighting, activities and their practiced creative formula it is so believable. On arrival in the church you are greeted with dancers and taken to meet your guide who will take you through the story of Mary, Elizabeth, The wise men, shepherds, into a marketplace (where they give you bits of food to try from ancient recipes and crafts to do like stars out of sticks, wax sealing, woven bracelets) you are given refreshments in ‘the Inn’ and even then go outside to see REAL sheep before being taken into a small stable to meet Mary again, this time with a real baby, Jesus. (one time my next door neighbour starred in this role) Its such a lovely and powerful experience. Aside from the experience of the journey itself what I love is the enthusiasm and commitment of the members of this church that they give up so much of their time to do this so brilliantly. Amazingly, in beautiful contract to the ridiculous commercialisation thrown at us at Christmas time, this event is just completely free. Its just a whole load of loveliness.
Perfect advent treat to finish off a day of dancing and drama rehearsals.