Norwich church aims to tap into the heart of Christmas with nativity art exhibition

A Norwich church aims to get to the heart of Christmas this December, by holding a festive event for its whole community.

St. Mark's Church on Hall Road is hosting The Heart of Christmas, a display of various forms of hand crafted religious art depicting the story of the nativity.

Including home made pieces from the church's two congregations - Church of England and Roman Catholic (RC) - the display will feature carved wood sculpture, paintings, porcelain figures and even a knitted nativity scene.

One highlight will be a piece dating from 1933 Germany, and the centrepiece will be a large grand nativity scene which usually resides in St John's RC Cathedral.

Vicar Eric West-Lindell said: 'What we really want to do is remind people of the meaning of Christmas, the story of the birth of Christ.'

'A lot of the essence of Christmas is lost, with commercial pressures and so on, and we want to share the original message.

'Anybody can come, it's not limited, the story is open to all.'

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The event will be on Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4 and will be opened by the Sheriff of Norwich, Chris Higgins, at 10am on the Saturday.

There will also be a Christmas concert with the Broadland Youth Choir on the Saturday at 7.30pm.

The congregation has been busy making decorations - such as Christmas garlands made in the Victorian style and the organisers hope to attract anyone from the local community, regardless of religious persuasion or background.

Rev West-Lindell said: 'Once you see the pieces all together, it will look quite grand. The decorations are very good as well.

'It will be like an exhibition all on the same story, but from different angles. It will reveal a lot about the history of the nativity and of religious art.'

The various attractions will include a sale of handicrafts and Christmas gifts, tea and coffee, home made mince pies, sausage rolls and cakes and a raffle for a Christmas hamper made up of Christmas pudding, mince pies, chocolates, pickles, chutney and jams.

Rev West-Lindell said: 'Even if you are not religious, the whole thing will just be a nice and cosy Christmas event.'

*Tickets for the concert will be �5, for further information call Rev West-Lindell on 01603621843.

*Are you or someone you know holding an event for Christmas? Call reporter Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 474 or email