Christmas call for cribs display

Licensed lay reader Delphine Burn
Licensed lay reader Delphine Burn
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The sun is shining outside, but 79-year-old Delphine Burn is already in full Christmas mode.

It might only be summer, but there’s no time to waste when you’re the organiser of the Goosnargh Nativity Crib Festival.

“We’ve got cribs promised from all over the world,” says Delphine proudly. “From as far away as New Zealand, Austria and Germany.

“If anyone has a crib set they would like to lend us please get in touch with me before the end of July.”

In addition to the cribs, there is also an organ recital to be organised, a nativity fancy dress to be addressed and the Sunday School kids need the thumbs up to make finger puppets.

The event is being billed as “the north’s first nativity crib festival,” although a quick search online suggests it isn’t quite.

Churches in Stockport, Tyneside, North Yorkshire and Liverpool, to name but four, have also held similar events during recent Christmases.

But with a target of 150 cribs, this could certainly be the biggest of the lot.

“We’ve already been promised more than 100 crib sets,” reveals Delphine who is appealing for another 50 to fill the recently refurbished medieval church of St Mary the Virgin.

But not just crib sets. She would like as much history about them as possible, such as origin, age and any stories they may have.

And then there’s the angels.

“We hope to have crib sets and angels,” she says.

“The angels are something difficult to describe, but they are paper angels and we hope they will be placed all over.”

The idea for a nativity crib festival came to Delphine during a visit to Bath last Christmas.

“I went into a church that had just held a Christmas crib festival and, although I didn’t actually see it, the idea struck me as being a very good one.

“So I came back and asked permission from the PCC to put one on in St Mary’s.

“We’ve just had the church altered and want to show it off and show it at its best.”

The festival will open on Wednesday November 30 and continue to Sunday December 4.

Entry will be free, although a donation would be appreciated and given to Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Seasonal light refreshments will be served throughout.