Thursday, 19 May 2022

Woolly Christmas... seven wise sheep and baby lamb

Woolly Christmas... seven wise sheep and baby lamb

A NATIVITY scene featuring metal ornamental sheep is on display outside the Stoke Row Independent Chapel.

It was created by Rev Mark Taylor, who is the minister at the chapel in Newlands Lane.

The display features seven sheep approaching a manger in which a lamb is placed.

Rev Taylor, who made the crib himself from wooden pallets, said he wanted to give villagers and visitors “a pleasant surprise”.

He said: “As churches can’t have nativities this year, we thought, ‘We’ll put a nativity scene out there’.

“I made the manger and my daughter, Julie, suggested we put a baby sheep in it.

“It is our way of reminding everyone that Jesus is the lamb of God. People love going out there and taking photos.” The sheep have become a village attraction during the coronavirus crisis. They first appeared during the first lockdown when the minister placed his own metal sheep garden ornament outside the chapel.

Rev Taylor said: “We decided to put it on the village green and call it ‘Hope’ as we all needed some. Other residents then added their own sheep and soon there were seven of them. They are part of the community now.

“We keep changing the signs next to them to keep people interested — I think the one at the moment says, ‘We can’t practice herd immunity because sheep travel in flocks’.”

He has also lit up the chapel in the run-up Christmas with help from the parish council in order to cheer people up.

Rev Taylor said: “When you pass by, amidst all that is different, troubling, annoying and frightening this year, pause and remember that without Jesus there would be no Christmas at all.”

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