Belfast Telegraph

Bethlehem comes to Belfast for story of the Nativity

By Amanda Poole

The congregation of Christ Church in Belfast has been busy recreating the village of Bethlehem in the Livestock Hall at the King’s Hall in the city.

Everyone is welcome at the free two-day event featuring live animals, and it starts by entering a time machine that transports people to the streets of Bethlehem and Judea 2,000 years ago.

Villagers will supply the public with shekels to pay the census office and for a hot apple juice, as Bethlehem is uncharacteristically cold at the moment.

Visitors pass through the interactive village, via Aphnick’s bazaar, to the Bedouin woman who loves the supernatural and worships the stars. She will recount the story of the wise men who are understood to have followed a star from the east.

The family of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus have left the village and are on their way back to Nazareth unaware King Herod is looking for them, so his men might want to question visitors about their whereabouts.

When the Belfast Telegraph took the time machine back to Bethlehem, Ebenezer, who runs the local inn, told us he had received a visit from a woman with child and her husband. “A pregnant lady and her husband arrived in, but there was no room at my inn,” he said.

“I told them she could use the stable outside and there is now word she has had the child. I’ve been told it was a virgin birth.”

The village is open today from 7-9pm and tomorrow from 10am-9pm, with a sign language tour available at 4pm. Free parking is also available.

For further details visit www.christchurchbelfast.org.

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