'The real meaning of Christmas': Hundreds of residents visit live Nativity scene in Romford
PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 December 2018
More than 2,900 people visited a live Nativity scene in Romford this December.
The Nativity Project at The Brewery in Waterloo Road, invited residents and schools to visit the Romford Elim Church’s live nativity scene.
This year the unit was opened by the mayor of Havering, councillor Dilip Patel on December 5 and the church held its last performance on Sunday, December 16.
Of the 2,990 people who visited, 1,439 people were pupils from schools.
Rev Glen Podd, Nativity manager, told the Recorder: “We had really good reports back from visitors. Everybody appreciated that we were bringing the real meaning of Christmas to the fore.
“I think people appreciate not only what we do, but the way we do it.
“We get people to participate in the show. For any school that comes, we usually have at least one teacher and six pupils take part.”
The group created a full size manger scene and presented the story of Christmas through mediums of music, drama, story-telling, quizzes and art.
“We do the quiz to find out how much people know about the Nativity, as there are some misconceptions out there,” said Rev Podd.
The Nativity Project began in 2011 after one of the elders in Romford Elim Church in Western Road saw the unit in The Brewery car park and thought it might make a nice setting for a Nativity scene.
Rev Podd added: “When we visited The Brewery in 2011, we saw in the long corridor near Kids Space that The Brewery had held a competition about Christmas.
“A lot of the art work displayed in the corridor was about Santa, reindeer or snowmen and none were about the story of Jesus.
“Now we bring about 2,000 people to this corner of Romford and it gives us the chance to share the real meaning of Christmas.”
The Nativity Project also organised a window decoration competition for schools which was judged by the mayor of Havering.
Cllr Patel selected a design by pupils from Oakfields Montessori School in Upminster as this year’s winner. They received £150 for their design.