PHOTO GALLERY: Special time at village church

This year’s Festival of Nativities held at Heckington’s St Andrew’s Church was a popular event.

The festival was held from December 19-21.

Emily Reid, 10, from Heckington with the nativity scene she was given several years ago at the village church's Festival of Nativities. EMN-141229-104639001

Emily Reid, 10, from Heckington with the nativity scene she was given several years ago at the village church's Festival of Nativities. EMN-141229-104639001

Sheila Grossmith from the church explained: “We had 30 Nativity sets on show plus the large extra special one from Walsingham set out at the high altar.

“This year the festival was set out over three days but Saturday was the busiest with slightly fewer visitors than last year overall.”

The church was packed for the family Crib Service on Christmas Eve when children were invited to come forward, dress up and become shepherds, angels or kings, while the Christmas story was told and acted out.

In its second year led by Rev Chris Harrington, a touch of realism was added by the introduction of two live donkeys walking down the aisle, a real baby (Stanley) in the crib as Jesus and a surprise visit from Jamila the camel bringing in the kings. This was the pantomime camel from Heckington Players.

Jamila the pantomime camel is led down the aisle for the crib service at St Andrew's Church, Heckington. Photo: Michael Cullen EMN-141229-104627001

Jamila the pantomime camel is led down the aisle for the crib service at St Andrew's Church, Heckington. Photo: Michael Cullen EMN-141229-104627001