First "walking nativity" strolls through Abergavenny

A NEW-born baby made his acting debut as Jesus when Abergavenny churchgoers staged their first ever nativity walk through the town earlier this month.

Crowds gathered to watch the procession on December 14, whose oldest participant was in his 70s, filling the role of a shepherd.

Mince pies and mulled wine were offered to people in the market while a 30-strong group of shepherds, wise men, angels, kings and the biblical family sang Christmas songs accompanied by papier mache camels.

"The Anglican churches of Abergavenny dressed up as the nativity characters and walked through town as Mary and Joseph would have made their journey," explained Reverend Mark Soady of St Mary's Priory Church.

"Prior to the parade we had a workshop where families could make things to take on the walk, like crowns. In the Abbots Garden we had a crib and a real donkey, and we stopped at the market where we had a brazier with Welsh cakes and we sang Christmas carols. It's the first time we've done this in an attempt to take out the good news."

Preparations went on for two months prior to the march, organising costumes, rehearsing carols and creating life-size animals out of paper mache.

On the day a choir of angels sang "Gloria" while a symbolic golden star led the parade.

"Lots of people joined in," said Revd Soady. "Some people walked with us for part of the way and the weather was fine for us. We will certainly do it again next year, we've had very positive feedback and we enjoyed doing it."

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