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Magical scenes as snowflakes fell on the Formby Nativity

Formby Village Nativity Winter Wonderland - With heavy snow threatened for the weekend, the organisers of Formby Village Nativity were wondering whether to postpone or not. In the days beforehand, many children locally were praying for it not to snow. Little Aoife Norbury was praying that the weather wouldn’t mean that the Nativity was cancelled so that she could see her mum Jacqui play Mary in the show. Her prayers were answered. The roads and paths were clear and the snow only started as people gathered for the performance. The snowflakes created a wonderful Christmas atmosphere that helped to make it so special.

The Mayor Cllr Dave Robinson, Mrs Wendy Robinson and MP Bill Esterson came along with hundreds of others to enjoy the show and hear their children sing even though it took place at the same time as the football derby. Formby's MP, Bill Esterson said: "Many thanks to everyone involved in the Formby Nativity. Great to see old and young taking part and with so many children singing as well. I recognised quite a few of the cast despite the costumes and disguises, including Formby Councillor, Catie Page and her husband Chris Page. A big thank you to Formby Pool Trust for hosting the event. It was an excellent venue. I sat with the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson and he and I agreed the nativity was great fun and the donkey stole the show again!"

The performance combined the traditional nativity story of the birth of Jesus with a musical and elements of pantomime. This made a lively, enjoyable show that delighted everyone involved. Baby Jesus was played by 8-week-old Isla Last, daughter of Catherine Last who also led some of the choirs. Mary was played by Jacqueline Norbury and Joseph by Andy Swain. Along with an able cast they gave a moving and entertaining performance. The crowd loved to hate Stuart Jones as the centurion who gave the news of the census and was on the lookout for conscripts. They laughed along in true panto style with Mark and Tim Hogben and John Ryan as the lovable shepherds with Emily Jordan as enchanting Angel Gabriel. There were moments of drama too and you could feel Joseph’s devastation when he finds out about Mary’s pregnancy, the bewilderment when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem and the joy and wonder when they gazed on their new-born baby.

Freshfield infant choir led by Katie Smith won the hearts of the audience with their rendition of 'Lean on me'. Out Lady’s choir led by Tony Houghton provided a lively and energetic accompaniment to many of the scenes including the memorable 'Hit the road, Joe!' when Joseph had to leave for Bethlehem. Woodlands junior choir led by Belinda Rimmer provided and delighted the audience with their rendition of 'One night, one moment'. Make noise 2 and St Jerome’s school choir led by Catherine Last provided lovely harmonies in reminding people of the significance of Christmas in “Love shone down”. The Make Noise adult choir led by Catherine Last really tugged the heart strings with their performance of “Mary did you know” that looked forward to what Jesus would become.

Volunteers from Formby Pool provided welcome mulled wine, mince pies, teas and coffees afterwards. £150 was raised in donations for these refreshments which will be split between Southport Food Kitchen and Emmaus Merseyside homeless programme in Seaforth.

Dympna Edwards, author and director from Churches Together said: “Formby has a wonderful tradition with the village nativity, now in its 12th year. It is a wonderful way of bringing people together to celebrate the story of Christmas and what it means to us today. It is the result of the churches working together and reaching out beyond the church walls."

"So many people have worked to make this happen and we thank Formby Pool, Sefton Council, Formby Parish Council and all the volunteers. A particular thanks to the schools and choirs who have added an extra sparkle and joy to the nativity this year”

Watch the Formby Bubble Video of the Nativity play here...

Watch this video - This is the Mark Edwards' (Chair of Formby Photo Group) Video of Nativity (Full professional copy).

Photo by Mark Edwards

Photo by Mark Edwards

Photo by Mark Edwards

Photo by Mark Edwards

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