Ilkeston - Nativity
w/e 21 December 2014
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Nottingham, like many other places, has its Christmas Wonderland which is mainly about the commercial and entertainment aspects of the season but the word "Christmas" is a derivation of Christ's Mass and for Christians, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. That scene of the Bethlehem stable is commemorated all over the world in tableaux and other displays and this year the Salvation Army in Ilkeston has held a Nativity Festival in their citadel on Chapel Street. These images on this page show a selection from the Festival and illustrate the huge variety of ways and materials that can be used to tell the same story.

Nativity One

The first scene in the porch (left) of the Salvation Army used two puppets (right) that are often used in their services to take the parts of Mary and Joseph. Inside the main hall of the citadel were about twenty different representations of the nativity and the one shown above used small individual figures that could be arranged in different configurations to show the scene.
Nativity Two

The displays at the Festival were arranged on tables (left) around the edge of the hall and several of them had been hand made by Major Julie of the Salvation Army. These included a number of free standing knitted or crocheted figures of shepherds, wise men, Mary Joseph, the baby Jesus and not forgetting a veritable flock of sheep. There was also a small display made of felt.
Nativity Three

The felt figures can be seen on the left of this image but the main display is made of card cut outs.
Nativity Four

A tiny display of the stable scene was accompanied by a note about Joseph.
Nativity Five

A much larger and more ornate nativity occupied the end wall of the hall.
Nativity Six

A similar sized display was one of three on another table and presented a more impressionist view of the nativity.
Nativity Seven

On the same table was a small Olive tree wood carving purchased in Bethlehem.
Nativity Eight

Oberammergau in Germany is noted for its once-a-decade Passion Play and more closely associated with Easter but the area is also known for wood carving and this nativity scene was purchased there.
Nativity Nine

Poet Christina Rossetti wrote the words to the well loved carol "In the bleak midwinter" and she is responsible for the words of "Love came down at Christmas", another poem that has also been set to music. This scene of the nativity incorporated into the word "Love" with the backdrop of "Noel" illustrates that title to perfection and was part of a display on another table.
Nativity Ten

Some of the displays were quite elaborate while others like these Christmas tree decorations were very simple but central to all are the figures of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus and despite the commercial aspect of Christmas, surely the central part of any celebration should be a time to reflect on what the birth of the Christ child means to us all. Merry Christmas!

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