SHOPPERS in Trowbridge were treated to an unexpected nativity as they went about their Christmas shopping on Saturday.

More than 100 people, including many dressed as shepherds, wise men, Marys, Josephs, angels, sheep and donkeys, took part in the Churches annual Living Nativity event.

Albany Palace was the chosen inn and, keeping to tradition, Mary was sent away by a grumpy inn-keeper!

But thanks to Savers, ‘baby Jesus’ was born in their doorway and Starbucks placed the star in the east in their window.

Bob Hartman, nationally-renowned author and storyteller, narrated the real story of Christmas, encouraging lots of audience participation.

Led by a star and a real-life and well-behaved donkey named Charlie, the cast moved through the town stopping to tell the Christmas story step by step and singing popular carols.

David Ross, of Trowbridge Churches Together, said: "There was some brilliant acting and 'ad-libbing' giving the clear message of joy at Christmas!

"There was a real 'buzz' around the event and the carols were beautifully led by the Salvation Army Band. Three words sum up the event , Joy - Jesus - Joining in, as there was an invitation for everyone to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas."

Meanwhile, children at Lacock Primary School were determined this year to make sure that Baby Jesus is delivered safely.

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, Willow Class, battled through Covid restrictions and a Covid outbreak at school to bring Christmas cheer to their families through their own special telling of the Christmas story.

Teacher Ali Ley, who filmed 'Shine, Star, Shine!' for parents, said: “As a church school, Christmas is a very important event in our calendar. Teaching the story of Jesus’ birth to our little ones through drama and song is the foundation for everything they will learn as they grow through the school.”

However, putting on a performance in these worrying times has been far from easy and staff have had to think creatively to make sure the show goes on.

As parents are not allowed to attend any school performances at the moment, Mrs Ley decided to film ‘Shine Star, Shine!’ scene by scene, edit it, and send it to parents electronically thereby turning the excited children into instant movie stars!

“Continuity has been an issue as we have been hit by a wave of Covid through the school. We currently have half the class away, meaning that some children have had to learn more than one role at the last minute.

"I am so proud of the way the children have risen to the challenge and can’t wait for the parents to see the final result!”