Teamwork in a parish: St John's, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucester Diocese

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St John's Church, Chipping Sodbury, organises a Nativity Crib Festival as part of the town's Victorian Day in December. The festival aims to find imaginative ways of communicating the Christmas story and connecting with the local community.

Canon Jane Kenchington, Area Dean of Wotton & Rector of the Sodbury Vale Benefice, explains: 'I gathered a group of lay people around me, and the curate at the time, to get the festival off the ground for Advent 2011. I was the project manager and held the vision. The festival comprises an exhibition of cribs, a cafe, a prayer area, crafts for the children and drumming. All the schools in the benefice were invited to make cribs.'

Attracting 4,500 people last year, the festival takes a lot of organising and having lay people and clergy working together is vital. 'It's a great way of involving lots of people and sharing responsibilities,' says Jane, 'without the volunteers the festival just couldn't happen.'


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