Shear enthusiasm for joining the flock

November 30 2014

IF you’re looking for a way to keep your children calm in the run-up to Christmas, try counting sheep.


IF you’re looking for a way to keep your children calm in the run-up to Christmas, try counting sheep.

A flock of woolly creatures is appearing across Mangotsfield and Emersons Green from November 29 as part of a community project instigated by St James Church.

Church members have knitted the sheep, which are being placed in more than 20 venues such as shops, cafes, Sainsburys and the library. Residents are invited to download a trail map and entry form or pick up a trail map and join in the fun of finding all the animals.

The sheep trail and the rest of the Messy Nativity activities will be launched officially at the church’s annual festive fair, which has this year been renamed the Christmas Baa….zaar.

Messy Nativity has two other strands: a travelling nativity set and “Nativity on the Street”. The idea of the first is that various families and venues have agreed to host a crib scene for a day. Each participant will retain a copy of the nativity story and a small sheep, which will be encouraged to return to its flock at the Nativity for All service at the church on Christmas Eve.

Nativity on the Street involves children from Mangotsfield CE Primary, who will perform a nativity play and sing carols outdoors at Grimsbury Farm, Kingswood, on Sunday December 7 at 5pm.

Barley Close Primary and the new Emersons Green Memory Cafe are also getting involved in some of the activities, which are being led by Bristol Diocese community link worker Sally Sibley.

“It is all about spreading the real story of Christmas in an accessible way,” she said. “I have been flabbergasted at the response. People are so enthusiastic about it.”

All the activities are free and everyone is welcome to join in. The intention is for the sheep to be auctioned in January to raise money for charity and for the St James Church Spend a Penny appeal.

Find out more at the church’s Facebook page. Pick up a sheep trail map at the church, the Lamb, The Busy Bee, Sainsburys or Emersons Green Library.


SATURDAY NOV 29, 11am – 2 pm, Çhristmas Baaa...zar, St James Church Hall, Richmond Road, Mangotsfield. Featuring Lammy the Lamb from Grimsbury Farm, see Santa in his grotto, find out about the Messy Nativity Sheep Trail

FRIDAY DEC 5, 6.30pm – 8.30pm: Mangotsfield C of E School Christmas Fair. St James Church will provide Advent/Nativity craft and activities for children

SUNDAY DEC 7, 5pm: Nativity Drama: Children from Mangotsfield C of E Primary School will perform The Nativity at Grimsbury Farm with members of the school choir singing. Do arrive early as this is a popular event.

SUNDAY DEC 14, 10.30am: Messy Church Service, St James Church Hall, Richmond Rd. – Involving Children’s Church retelling of The Nativity. Advent, Sheep and Nativity crafts and activities for all.

CHRISTMAS EVE, 4pm: St. James Church - The Travelling Nativity returns to St. James Church Nativity 4 All and all the sheep will be gathered safely in! Prize winner from Sheep Trail announced.

SATURDAY JAN 31, New Year’s Party and Sheep Auction