- Performance on Monday 15th December, 6pm
- Jesus, Mary and Joseph enter Kent as refugees
A local Scout group has written their own Nativity play featuring Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees entering Kent. The performance by the 1st Murston and Bapchild Scouts will take place on Monday 15 December at St. Laurence Church, Bapchild in Sittingbourne, and will re-enact the Christmas story, with a local and humorous twist.
Around twenty-five teenagers will take part, all having had an active role in writing the script, developing the themes, and making their own props and costumes. The play, which sees Jesus being born by a bus stop outside Sainsbury’s in Sittingbourne, uses humour to highlight pertinent themes of enforced travel, homelessness, hostile welcome, and the kindness of others.
The Reverend Lesley Jones, Assistant Curate for the parishes of Milton Regis, Murston, Bapchild and Tonge said: “It’s wonderful to see how much thought and effort the Scouts have put into telling the Nativity story with such a modern twist – and to do so at a time when a young couple forced to travel two thousand years ago, would strike a chord with today’s news stories of refugees travelling and living in dreadful conditions across Europe.”
The event will raise funds for the Scout group but also for the Diocese of Canterbury’s Advent Justice Appeal which was launched by the Bishop of Dover at the beginning of December following a recent trip to the camp in Calais known as ‘The Jungle’. Over £16,000 has already been raised with just two weeks left to go until the appeal closes on Christmas Day. The money raised will go to fund the creation of two new posts: one working in Calais with the Diocese of Arras and the other working in Canterbury Diocese, helping to coordinate and support work with refugees there.
“We believe that all human beings are unique and loved by God, yet we tolerate situations where people are treated as sub-human,” said Bishop Trevor. “We must not turn a blind eye to the suffering on our doorstep as desperate people take desperate measures to reach safety. It is my intention to keep on visiting Calais – not to embarrass the Government, nor to make anyone feel guilty – but because we have an obligation to affirm that every refugee is a human being of great worth.”
People can donate to the Appeal online here, by text message (text BTAA65 and the amount to 70070) or by cheque, made payable to CDBF, with “Justice Appeal” written on the back and sent to Advent Justice Appeal, Diocesan House, Lady Wootton’s Green, Canterbury, CT1 1NQ.
Notes to editors:
- 1st Murston and Bapchild Scouts meet at Bapchild and Tonge C of E Primary School, and attend church two or three times a year at Murston and Bapchild as well as take part in the main Sittingbourne Remembrance Sunday event.
- In July, the Scouts camped out in Murston Church raising £90 for the Community Hub based at the church and boosted Bapchild Church’s Harvest Appeal for Water Aid by £100.
- As part of the Advent Justice Appeal, throughout December and until Christmas Day on the Diocesan website, Facebook page and Twitter account there will be a new way in which people can respond to the refugee crisis, whether that’s through prayer, finding out more for themselves, or volunteering.
- The Communities and Partnerships team at the Diocese has created a Refugee Toolkit, detailing other ways in which people can respond to the refugee crisis.
- Click here to download photos from the Bishop’s visit to the Jungle in Calais.
- For more information, contact Anna Drew, Director of Communications, Canterbury Diocese on 07753454586, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.