What if the first Christmas had happened somewhere near you?
Never mind the obvious differences, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Nativity are all told as tales from a land far, far away and a long time ago. But what if the first Christmas happened now, somewhere nearby, where people are struggling to make ends meet, living within a multicultural, multi-ability, multi-generational community?
What would the struggle, uncertainty and surprise (none in short supply nowadays) of the narrative look like then?
The Revd Austin Janes, from Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, has taken his experiences of areas of economic challenge and written and illustrated a new book, ‘The Kitchen Sink Nativity’, exploring in poetic rhyme the Christmas story as if it happened on just such a doorstep.
Austin tells the story like this:
“Mary and Joe receive a surprising message from an Angel, who is a long way from being a little girl with tinsel in her hair. As the story unfolds, they are evicted from their comfortable home, and instead only find use of the kitchen floor in a B&B. There may be no mangers or shepherds in this Nativity story, but there are drunken students and a kitchen sink!”
Austin hopes that the pocket size, full colour printed poetry book will be bought by churches as gifts to the children in the schools they serve, or for their Nativity services and appeal to adults and children alike. There is also a format of an order of service with options for acting out the story, or projecting the provided Power Point images. The service comes with suggestions for Bible readings and carols.
Copies of the book with accompanying resources are available from the Church of the Resurrection website where costs and ordering methods can be found:
All the proceeds go towards the ministry of the Church in Grovehill and Woodhall Farm, Hemel Hempstead.