The event began with the Christmas story, which was told in Godly Play style.
The story included not only the journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus and visits of shepherds and magi but also the idea of Jesus as the gift of God's love, the light in the dark, the capture of the innocents and the flight into Egypt.
After the storytelling the class were split into three groups. The first group followed the story trail:
1 Travelling to Bethlehem
The mother Mary and the Father Joseph travelled to Bethlehem to be counted by the Roman soldiers. The hourney was long and hard. There were rough stones underfoot.
Would you like to take a stone?
2 The donkey
It was nearly time for Mary's baby to be born so she rode on a donkey when she was too tired to walk.
Would you like to take some fur?
3 On the road
The journey took over a week and they had to find places to stay on the way.
Would you like to take a piece of blanket?
4 Arrival in Bethlehem
Joseph was worried when they arrived because there was nowhere to stay. Finally, they were able to take shelter with the animals.
Would you like to take some straw?
5 The baby is born
During the night, Mary's baby was born. Christians believe that at Christmas God gave a gift to the world. It was the Christ Child - God's only son.
Would you like to take a picture of the baby Jesus?
6 Light in the dark
God gave light to the dark world and everything changed. Nothing would ever be the same.
Would you like to take a candle?
7 The cow
When the old cow came to have her breakfast in the morning, she was very surprised!
Would you like to take a picture of the cow?
8 The baby in the manger
The manger, the cow's feeding tray, had become a bed for a new born baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Would you like to take some white cloth?
9 The shepherds
The shepherds lived on the hillside with their sheep. They were the outcasts - people no one else wanted to know. But they were the first to hear the good news.
Would you like to take some rough cloth and some wool?
10 The angel
The angel told them to hurry to Bethlehem to see the baby who would change everything.
Would you like to take an angel?
11 The song of the angels
Suddenly the sky was filled with heavenly singing, praising God.
Would you like to take a bell?
12 Peace on earth
The angels sang of peace on earth for all people, not just the rich and powerful.
Would you like to take a dove?
13 The star
The wise men saw a star that wasn't on their maps. They realised it was a sign so they followed it to far off lands.
Would you like to take a star?
14 The wise men
The wise men were strangers in Jerusalem. They visited King Herod in his palace, searching for a baby king. Herod asked them to let him know when they found the new king.
Would you like to take a crown?
15 The gifts
Finally the star led the wise men to a stable in Bethlehem. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Would you like to take a bow?
16 A new start
The wise men knelt down and worshipped the baby. They were transformed, and given a new start.
Would you like to take a shiny stone?
17 King Herod
King Herod was angry when the wise men did not return to Jerusalem. He asked his scholars to find where the new king would be born.
Would you like to take a scroll?
18 The soldiers
Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to round up all the baby boys.
Would you like to take some camouflage cloth?
19 Flight into Egypt
An angel came to Joseph in a dream, and he and Mary escaped with Jesus to become refugges in Egypt.
Would you like to take a footprint?
20 God so loved the world...
God so loved the world that he sent his only son to be born as a baby in Bethlehem - a gift of love to his people.
Would you like to take a heart?
While one group was following the story trail, the other two groups were offered a time of creative response and refreshments.
One group was offered the opportunity to use model magic to create something to do with the story.
Children chose to make model nativity figures, stars, animals, the baby in the manger and angels.
The other group were given card cutouts of crowns, stars, angels and hearts and invited to decorate them.
They could use paintsticks, felt tips, gel pens, jewels and a variety of sparkles and other collage materials.
Nativity puzzles, nativity sets, books and puppets were laid out on a rug for children who had finished the activities. There was also the opportunity to graffiti on a long piece of lining paper.
At the end the class came back together for a short interactive prayer.