What would the season of Christmas be without the Nativity Play? In churches up and down the land it's the showpiece of the Sunday school year!
Here at The Triangle the Nativity Play is the pinnacle of a tremendous amount of work by our Young Church leaders - scripting, rehearsing words and music, costume design, building the set and finally staging the show to a packed and enthusiastic congregation.
What's so special is that we've watched the principal players in this heart-warming annual celebration grow over the years from tiny angels, shepherds and wise men into cheerful, confident teenagers - their voices a couple of octaves lower in the case of the boys, the girls tall and elegant. They come to the Triangle every Sunday, a happy group pleased to see each other and to be seen in church - and that's the measure of the success story created by their Leaders. It's often said that a church is its people, rather than a building. The most important of those people are the young, the future of our mission.
This year the wonderful account of Christ's birth - "ever old and ever new" as Brian Smith, our Worship Leader, memorably put it - was given the Star Trek treatment in a follow-up to last year's space age production. "Heaven - the Final Frontier", a homage to Leonard Nimoy's immortal opening lines, led into a fast-moving sequence of songs and comedy dialogue. Familiar scenes had new names - 'Mary's Parents' Place', 'Shepherd Ed's Field' - and the story was peppered with wonderful characters - 'the Three Wise Nerds', for instance.
Toe-tapping songs were mixed with tear-jerkers -'Something's not right' from Mary, 'Broken hearted' (Joseph), 'Beat It!' (the Inn Keeper), 'Bad to the Bone' (Herod) and 'Shepherd Boy to Gabriel' inspired by David Bowie's great 'Space Oddity'. In between, the younger members of the cast gave us 'Little Donkey' and a charming rendering of 'In a lowly stable' which brought a lump to many a throat in the audience. Unforgettable moments? Beaming Herod's rendering of 'Bad to the Bone' in which SHE almost reduced us to tears of laughter, the Angel Gabriel's voice choosing today of all days to break, and the diminutive donkey's reluctant journey down the aisle led by Mary and Joseph.
In between, we had a chance to belt out 'While shepherd's watched their flocks by night' and 'O come all ye faithful' with all the 'welly' we could muster!
Oh yes, Christmas has begun at The Triangle alright!
Kindly written by Astley Jones.
PS> Thanks to everyone who have worked so hard behind the scenes and especially all the “budding stars” we have in our Junior Church, Well done.