The candlelit procession then made its way to the school’s medieval chapel, where they were joined by a packed crowd of members of the public for a carol service and readings from the nativity story. It is here that Mary were Joseph are delivered a real baby ‘Jesus’ to complete the nativity scene, played each night by a baby belonging to a member of staff at the school.
The event, which featured students from years seven to thirteen playing the parts of the three wise men, shepherds, angels and Mary and Joseph, took place from Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th December and offered an unusual moment of calm in the frantic Christmas build up to reflect on its message. With reports in the news regularly occurring of schools scrapping their nativity plays in order to refrain from causing any offence to the public, students at St Leonards-Mayfield, an independent Catholic school for girls, urged the community to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Catriona Franck, Head Girl and a Year 13 student at St Leonards-Mayfield School, who played the part of Mary in two of this year’s Live Crib processions, said: “I look forward to Live Crib every year, and it was amazing to be given the honour of playing Mary in this year’s event. Live Crib is always such a magical occasion, which brings the whole community together. It was so lovely to see a packed audience each night singing carols and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.”
A collection at the Live Crib services raised £2,500 for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Philippines Typhoon Appeal and The Cardinal Hume Centre, which helps young homeless people and families in need.