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.
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.
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.
The felt figures can be seen on the left of this image but the
main display is made of card cut outs.
A tiny display of the stable scene was accompanied by a note
A much larger and more ornate nativity occupied the end wall
of the hall.
A similar sized display was one of three on another table and
presented a more impressionist view of the nativity.
On the same table was a small Olive tree wood carving purchased
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
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.
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!