Belfast Telegraph

St Mary's invites public to make pilgrimage to its crib

Mary (Figueira Beckie) and Joseph (Sean Jordan) take the donkey to the Live Crib at St Mary’s Church
Mary (Figueira Beckie) and Joseph (Sean Jordan) take the donkey to the Live Crib at St Mary’s Church
Maggie Dundon from St Mary’s Primary School pays a visit

By Staff Reporter

If you want a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping to find a moment of peace and tranquillity, make a pilgrimage to St Mary's Live Crib in Belfast's city centre.

Visitors can dress up as a shepherd, sing some joyful Christmas carols, and enjoy petting the sheep, goats and donkeys, joining parishioners at the charming nativity scene celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Donkeys from Kinedale Farm in Ballynahinch, Co Down - part of the Irish Donkey Society - are taking part in this year's crib.

The Live Crib is taking place this Christmas at St Mary's Church in Chapel Lane - the oldest Catholic church in the city.

Proceeds of this year's Live Crib appeal will go to help children in Syria, Gaza, Kenya and Sudan.

Organiser Orla Sheehan of the charity Tuesday's Child, said the live nativity tableau "brings great joy to people of all ages and all walks of life".

"We hope the crib will bring the true meaning of Christmas and peace and joy to many people again this year, especially to children."

"Most of all, we hope that the live crib will bring joy to many children in parts of the world who are ravaged by war and extreme poverty," she added.

St Mary's Live Crib is open until December 24 and then from December 28 to January 6 from 10.30am to 6pm with late night opening on December 23 (8pm).

The baby Jesus will appear on Christmas Eve, and the Three Wise Men - Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior - visit on January 6.

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