Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality


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Giant Puppets Nativity at Leicester Lights Switch-On 2014

 Leicester Lights Switch-On 2014

 

On a cold rainy day, seven Giant Puppets brought a rainbow of colour into the streets of Leicester and smiles to the faces of those who saw them!  The wise men set off on their journey round the clock tower waving at passers by and posing for photos before re-joining the rest of the cast for  a wonderfully creative re-telling of the Nativity story. Around 200 people gathered to hear the story of the birth of Jesus which our fabulous puppeteers performed in Leicester Town Hall Square before heading down to Humberstone Gate for the Leicester Lights Switch-on itself.

A big thank you to all ‘In Another Place’ in Liverpool for teaching us how to make the puppets, providing the soundtrack and for being so welcoming and inspirational when we came down to visit!

The following photos are in three sections

1) Getting ready at Bishop Street Methodist Church

2) The walkabout through Leicester’s shopping streets

3) The Nativity Play

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Two of the wise men and their hardy puppet minders bravely walked through the rain to meet the people of Leicester!

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When they returned all the puppets gathered in the Town Hall Square and performed the Nativity Story to a crowd of 200 onlookers!

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A big thank you to everyone involved in making these fabulous Giant Puppets and to our wonderful puppeteers who made them come alive!


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Finishing Touches

Our first public appearance is only a few days away on Sunday 16th – a 3pm appearance by two Magi who will wander through the crowds to the Clock Tower and back and then a full performance of our nativity play at 3.30pm.  The weather forecast is mainly dry with light winds – so that should be our first obstacle overcome.

Meanwhile, the last couple of weeks have seen the finishing touches added to our puppets.

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Over the October half-term, Birstall Brownies were busy finger-knitting, using skills previously taught to them by Lisa of Little Bird SOS.  Their knitted braids have been curled and glued to make angelic locks for Gabriel.  Meanwhile, Lisa has crocheted him a halo and had the fantastic idea of combining it with battery-operated Christmas lights so that it twinkles.  Gabriel is delighted.

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Caspar now boasts rather glorious headgear made by Birstall Methodist Pre-School.  It is shaped from catering trays and decorated with glitter and sparkly bits by the children.  And the many beads made by Highcliffe and Riverside Primary Schools, Birstall Youth Cafe, St Theresa’s Youth group and painted and glittered by Birstall Messy Church have finally been strung and varnished and look magnificent.

Finally – our puppets are at long last armed (and consequently a little bit dangerous, as shown by some accidental collisions at the final dress rehearsal).  Attaching the arms proved a little fiddly but we’ve finally got it sorted.  Adding the arms really makes the puppets spring to life, even if their arm movements are limited (mostly to the zombie range of being straight out in front of them).

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We are so proud of our cast of young people.  We have a new “Mary” who is brilliant after only one rehearsal. It is really a joy to work with them.  The full cast is made up of Meg, Zoe, George, Daniel, Andrew, Stephen and Ben.


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Leicester Giant Puppets | The Dress Rehearsal

LEICESTER GIANT PUPPETS

Fantastic dress rehearsal last night at Birstall Methodist Church. The puppeteers were getting into the swing of things and the puppets together for the first time looked amazing!! We reckon over 15 different groups have been involved in the creation of these big friendly giants and we can’t wait for their debut at the Leicester Christmas Lights Switch on at 3.30pm on Sunday November 16th 2014 in the Town Hall Square. The puppets will put on a fabulous re-telling of the Nativity Story – suitable for all ages – we would love to see you there!

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Birstall Youth Cafe make their mark

Churches Together in Birstall in association with Bishop St Methodist Church are making a series of giant nativity puppets to tell the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas Lights switch-ons and other events this year.  This is the story of their creation.  Rachel Parkinson, Minister at Birstall Methodist, writes:

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For the last four years, Birstall Youth Cafe on the School Lane playing fields has been opening its doors to local youngsters every Wednesday and Friday.  Last night Anne Crosby, the Curate at St James, and I took along some puppet-themed activities to set alongside the table-tennis, pool and general good-natured hanging about.  We took fabric pens to decorate a robe for the third King / Wise Man and had another go at making papier mache beads.

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