NOAH is welcoming animals onto his Ark, Jonah is emerging from the mouth of the whale, Jesus is attending the Last Supper, and Lazarus is rising from the dead, all at a Newport church from today.

These and other Old and New Testament scenes - lovingly created in wool and other materials - are on show at St Julian's Methodist Church.

The Knitted Bible is the creation of worshippers at St George's United Reformed Church in Hartlepool in County Durham.

Created several years ago, what began as one knitted scene eventually became 33, featuring an array of characters in key scenes from the Bible.

So popular has it been that it has travelled the length and breadth of the UK - and it is now on loan, available to view and marvel at in Newport during the next nine days.

"We went to see it in Tewkesbury last June and thought it be a good idea to bring it to Newport if we could," said church steward Pauline Marshall.

"It's very popular across the country and we're hoping for a good response here. There are several schools coming in, and 400 or 500 pupils will be able to see it."

Unpacking and setting up the scenes and characters has gone hand in hand with the decoration of the church with scores of bunting triangles knitted by St Julian's Methodist Church regulars.

"It is something a little different, and we're very glad to be able to give people here the chance to see it," said the Reverend Richard Gillion, minister at St Julian's, who added that donations from the Knitted Bible exhibition will go to St David's Hospice Care and the Bible Society.

* Viewing hours for the exhibition are: tomorrow, 2pm-4pm; Sundays April 17 and April 24, 1pm-4pm; Monday-Saturday April 18-23, and Monday April 25, 10am-4pm.