A CREATIVE virtual nativity online will make sure the Christmas Story is still told in Saddleworth this year despite restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Church of England places of worship across the area are opening with limited capacity so other ways have been sought to make sure everyone can be included.
Rob Knotts, a member of Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross, came up with the idea of a virtual nativity which is available to all online.
He explained: “Covid-19 restrictions have prompted finding an alternative way to celebrate the nativity.
“I came up with the idea of a virtual nativity, researched the artwork and wrote the script.
“It consists of an introductory page and 24 pages depicting the nativity story.
“Each page is illustrated with photographs of carvings and paintings and includes supporting text and Bible readings. On some pages it is possible to play a Christmas Carol.
“The virtual nativity offers a wonderful opportunity to learn how the Christmas Story has been told over the centuries in carvings, paintings, and music.”
Paul Wooding, who is also a member of Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross, developed the work into a presentation.
The virtual nativity can be viewed online at www.cofeinsaddleworth.org.uk/virtual-nativity
Meanwhile, a number of other initiatives have been organised the Church of England in Saddleworth to ensure Christmas worship and traditions can continue.
A Jesse Tree advent calendar is available online with different daily images and verses:
The Nine Lessons & Carols will be broadcast at 6pm on Sunday, December 20 and there will be a Christmas Day Service 12noon on Christmas Day, both accessible through
For places of worship that can open, details of our Sunday and Christmas Day services during Advent and Christmas can be found online: www.cofeinsaddleworth.org.uk
The Revd Aaron Jackman, on behalf of the Church of England in Saddleworth, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has made this the strangest, anxiety-filled year in recent memory as we’ve lurched from full-scale to tiered lockdown and back again.
“Currently, our Government has placed us in Tier 3 with pubs, cafés, and restaurants closed, and we are still banned from visiting family and friends in their houses.
“This doesn’t bode well for this most festive time of year – and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Christmas might as well be cancelled.
Well, in Saddleworth, we’re a stubborn bunch, and so we refuse to let Christmas pass us by this year.
“As well as worshipping in our churches, we will be broadcasting a Nine Lessons and Carols and Christmas Day service online.
“And in the lead up to Christmas, look out for our Advent Jesse Tree activities, our Virtual Nativity, and join in with our Christmas Angels Project bringing the message of love, joy and peace to all people.
“This has been a tough year, but Christmas reminds us that whatever we’ve been through, whatever we’re going through – and whatever is about to come our way – we are not alone, God is with us, and wants the best for us.
“Merry Christmas to one and all!”