Messy Nativity Sheep Trail - Nov10

Monday, 29 November, 2010

Knitted lambs are set to appear in a dozen outlets from Wednesday (1st December 2010) as part of a 'Messy Nativity Sheep Trail' organised by Messy Church in conjunction with the Liverpool ONE management team, Liverpool Mothers' Union and the city centre fresh expression of church, River in the City.

Karen Carter talks to Jane Leadbetter about the Messy Nativity Sheep Trail in Liverpool.

Duration: 2:55   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: Now there's something rather strange but seasonal going on in the new Liverpool ONE shopping complex on the banks of the Mersey. We sent Karen along to investigate and she met up with Jane Leadbetter, regional coordinator for Messy Church.

Jane Leadbetter: Well in Liverpool ONE we have eleven shops now signed up, eleven stores I should say, and they are going to each invite a large knitted sheep to be in their store and you are going to be invited to be on the sheep trail. We're calling it the messy nativity trail to link up with the messy nativity activities in our own parishes where you can pass around a nativity set round the homes in your community. And if enough little knitted sheep are available then you can retain one of those in your own homes with baby Jesus.

Interviewer: Sounds excellent fun. Now here in Liverpool obviously we'll get thousands of people come through the Liverpool ONE shopping experience as it now is, tell me what you'd hope that those people will gain from taking part in the sheep trail.

Jane Leadbetter: Well whether as an individual or as a family, we hope you'll take part in the fun element of hunting in all of the stores to find the sheep, to find out what their names are so that you can complete a little form so that you can go in for the prize draw, and that'll be for every Wednesday through advent time in December. But we also hope that it helps the shops as well, we hope that the shops can feel that there's a good collaboration between Messy Church, between the local churches and between the Mothers' Union of Liverpool so that we can invite people to come in and explore their shops through this exciting Christmas time.

Interviewer: And this is something you're hoping may well develop in future, Jane?

Jane Leadbetter: That would be a wonderful dream, that we could develop this further. We already have in a way this year by being invited to put on a messy nativity at the St John's market in Liverpool city centre and we are hoping that we have soon got permission to do a similar thing in Chavasse Park here in Liverpool ONE. Any fresh expression of church could take on this project and adapt it for themselves.

Interviewer: And in wider terms, what would you hope that this might lead to in terms of Messy Church and fresh expressions of church?

Jane Leadbetter: It's an excellent way to tell the people in the street that Jesus is a part of their lives, that Jesus is a major part of Christmas and that by telling the nativity story in this fun way can be something that could go into homes or shops or cities, big or small.

Introducer: Jane Leadbetter offering a rather unusual seasonal challenge there to fresh expressions nationwide.

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