Saturday 17th December in the parks and car park around Church on the Heath was the scene of a wonderful open air Nativity. Staged by a number of actors, musicians and support staff from Church on the Heath, the evening proved a great success within the community of Elvetham Heath.
The evening started with a group of shepherds camping in the football pitches of the park who were visited by an angelic host telling them to visit Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph and a real life donkey then travelled from the other end of the park to reach the De Havilland Arms – but there was no room at the Inn so they travelled onto a stable in the middle of the community car park. Finally the wise men visited Herod in the skate park before heading toward the stable.
With roving lighting and wireless outdoor audio, the Nativity production shone out in the darkness drawing passers by and crowds to the stable (car park), where the Rev Patrick Butler led the gathered crowds in a number of rousing carols. By the end of the evening the music team were leading the gathered multitude in Christmas classics including “I wish it could be Christmas every day” and “Merry Christmas Everyone”. There were even folk dancing to the music as the band pressed on with frozen hands but warm hearts.
Mince pies and warm mulled wine were a welcome end to the production.
Fleet Angels were on hand to support crowd and traffic control, with the organisers not really knowing how many people would attend, the response was at the top-end of expectations.
As a Fleet Angel enjoying the production from the back of the crowd, I can only hope that Church on the Heath will repeat this event next year, perhaps being even more ambitious in its production – real sheep, camels and cattle – Angels on Zip wires! I have a feeling this will become a much loved regular event!