Christmas message from the Vicar of Alnwick

As I write this Christmas message, I’ve just returned home from the nativity celebrations at St Michael’s Church of England Primary School.

Canon Paul Scott.
Canon Paul Scott.

Circumstances this year meant that it was held in the school yard rather than in the school itself or, as is more usual, in the church.

The ability of the children to adapt to such different arrangements and the level of their commitment and enthusiasm was really heartening.

Well wrapped up in winter coats with scarves and gloves, the singers, the musicians and those taking part in the Christmas tableau ensured that the large gathering of parents, grandparents and friends were left in no doubt of the extent of God’s love shown in the birth of the baby in the manger.

I’m sure similar inventive ways of retelling the Christmas story in the difficult circumstances of Coronavirus will have been repeated in countless towns and villages across the country – and for this we should be extremely grateful.

On that ‘silent night’ all those years ago, there was nothing luxurious about the surroundings in which Jesus was born. The reality of a homeless family and the birth taking place in the stable seemed more poignant than ever as we stood in that cold school yard.

In all our difficulties this Christmas – in the inconveniences and the scaled down activities – we are given a greater reminder than usual of the love which came down at Christmas – for our sake and for the sake of all humanity.