Romford church launches interactive Nativity Project in town centre
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 December 2019
Churchgoers have launched a live nativity scene in Romford's town centre.
Once a year members of Elim Church in Pettits Lane host an interactive retelling of the nativity story.
The Mayor of Havering, councillor Michael Deon Burton officially launched the project on Wednesday, December 4.
Reverend Glen Podd told the Recorder: "We're off to a great start.
"It went really well and there was a great atmosphere.
"St Edward's senior school sent a gospel choir and they were fantastic.
"They sang a couple of songs to set the scene and then we began our production."
The churchgoers create a full size manger scene and present the nativity through music, drama, storytelling, quizzes and art.
They begin with a quiz to find out what their audience already knows about the nativity.
Pupils and staff from Oasis Academy Pinewood School in Thistledown Avenue, Collier Row and Atam Academy in Barley Lane, Chadwell Heath joined in with the drama portion of the event.
Last year 2,990 people and students visited the project in the Brewery Shopping Centre unit near the bus terminal.
"We always tweak and change the performance slightly as people come back year after year," said Rev Podd.
"Helen Yousas painted and directed the whole unit from wall to wall and it looks phenomenal."
Havering schools were challenged to decorate windows for a £150 prize.
At the opening the Mayor chose Ardleigh Green School in Hornchurch as the winners of this year's art competition.
Elim Church's aim is to remind people of the, "first Christmas in Bethlehem and its true meaning".
Rev Podd added: "It's important to keep the story of Christ alive.
"Today Christmas is all about Santa Claus and they even want to change the name of the season.
"[The project] is all about sharing the story with the next generation."
The Nativity Project's next performances will be on Sunday, December 8 and the final session open to the public is on Sunday, December 15 which will end with a carol service at 11am.
Call 07986863460 to book a group school visit.