A SMALL community in Monmouthshire has put a disused phone box to good use by using it to tell the Easter story.

Llanarth Community Council paid £1 for the iconic red phone box at Bettws Newydd, near Usk, to save it from being removed by BT.

It was adopted and is now run by Bettws Newydd Village Hall Committee, which approached Messy Church to create a nativity scene at Christmas.

Following its success, local children came together to decorate it to remember the last week of Jesus’ life.

They began Holy Week by marking Palm Sunday with a procession and have been changing the scene each day as the story unfolds.

Pupils from Llanfair Kilgeddin Primary, together with children from Messy Church, which meets in the village , helped to create the art work that is being displayed in the phone box.

The week began with the first Palm Sunday procession.

Sue Evans, the school’s head teacher, explained: “We re-enacted the colt being untied and ridden by Jesus, the overturning of the tables and Jesus’ anger at the money lenders in the temple.

“We examined the display in the phone box and, throughout the procession, young and old members of the churches read and acted out the events of Holy Week.”

On Monday the scene was Jesus overturning the tables, on Tuesday Judas betrayed Jesus and on Wednesday Jesus cursed the fig tree.

Yesterday (Maundy Thursday) was the night before Jesus’ death and his Last Supper and today (Good Friday) Christians remember the day that Jesus was killed on the cross.

On Saturday the scene will depict the tomb and on Easter Sunday, when Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead the display will feature flowers and chicks.

Lea Ryder, a member of the Messy Church, said the committee asked the church to create a nativity scene at Christmas.

She said: “It was such a success that it was decided to do a similar thing at Easter.”

“It shows the community spirit and all the children involved were fantastic.”

“People stop to look and tell me they are really impressed by what we have done.”

Carol Oatey, Vice-Chairwoman of Llanarth Fawr Community Council and Chairwoman of Bettws Newydd Village Hall Committee said: “It’s wonderful and shows how a telephone box can bring a community together.”

“BT has even kept the light on it so that it is lit up at night and looks fantastic.”

“We are now looking at future ideas such as a lending library or to display poetry but welcome any ideas.”