Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality


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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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Mary gets a makeover

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Our Mary puppet was the first head to be made.  She was the work of Birstall Girls’ Brigade, who originally made her as “Gladys the Land Girl” for the Big Lunch they prepared for the church in the Summer.  It had a 1940’s theme.

Since then Gladys / Mary has had her lipstick toned down (too many people couldn’t cope with the idea of Jesus’ Mum with bright red lips!)   But she’d also lost her multi-coloured hair and become rather startlingly bald.  However, she is now very demurely veiled, save for her dark fringe, care of work by Daphne and Sabina from St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church in Birstall.

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That would be an ecumenical matter….

Churches in Birstall in association with Bishop St are making a series of giant nativity puppets.  This is the story of their creation.

One of the great things about the puppet project from the perspective of churches in Birstall is that it is something that Methodist, Anglicans and Roman Catholics can share as a joint project.  Last night the youth group at St Theresa’ Roman Catholic Church in Birstall spent their session helping to make the puppets.  Daphne and Sabina, the Catholic representatives on our puppet working group, teamed up with Mark, the youth group leader, to provide an evening full of creativity.  The youth group members were inspired to think that the puppets they were working on would potentially be seen by many hundreds of people through the Christmas lights switch-on events that we will be taking part in.  As well as undercoating giant hands, they did more work on making adornments for the kings.

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