Church flock given homes for Advent by St John’s community

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THE CONGREGATION of St John’s Church in Hucknall have been opening their homes to some unusual visitors to emulate a South American Christmas tradition.

A flock of knitted sheep has been given separate shelter in a collection of community homes during Advent as part of the Posada tradition.

“The Posada normally involves all the figures from the Nativity scene travelling around the village as a re-enactment of when Mary and Joseph were looking for accommodation in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus,” explained the church’s Rev David Ford, who is looking forward to seeing his flock reunited back at St John’s on Christmas Eve for a Bethlehem gathering at the Nativity service.

Posada is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the southwestern United States, beginning December 16 and ending December 24.

In Hucknall’s version, sheep have been knitted by volunteers to help spread the Christmas message of goodwill.

“Many thanks to all those wonderful knitters,” added Mr Ford. “Each sheep has its own luggage label, so that the sheep carers can choose a name for their fostered sheep, and record some of the places it visits over Advent, from school to the supermarket.

“I have already been sent a collection of pictures from sheep who have been travelling. One has been to Germany, while another has been caught on camera in London in Harrods’ window and enjoying the toys at Hamleys.

“Many others have been having fun in the homes of their families baking cakes and helping with the Christmas shopping.”

Some of the wool used to make the sheep was donated by Wool and Wot Nots on Watnall Road, Hucknall.

“My wife Liz came up with the idea as she is an avid knitter,” Mr Ford. “And because she had an easy sheep pattern we thought many people could get involved.

“It has been an alternative way of celebrating Advent and has proven very popular.”

It is hoped the Posada will continue for many years to come.

To check out the sheep story by visiting www.stjohnshucknall.org.uk.

n OUR PHOTO shows young Samuel Goddard — all ready for Christmas — with his very own sheep, Ewegenie.