Each year I hear the same departing phrases ‘gets you in the mood for Christmas’, ‘reminds us of what Christmas is all about’ ‘ weren’t the children wonderful?’ and doesn’t the church look beautiful? With the exception of the tree, the credit for all the decorations must be given to Geoff Harrison who has been responsible for many years for a high standard of arrangements, so once again our thanks and appreciation go to Geoff. Another round of applause for Doreen Lister and Anne Kilby who organized the Nativity scene, but without the children, this service would not have been so special. To all the children who took part, a huge thank you from us all. Before the service began Doreen told the congregation that for years we had made do with an upturned stool, covered in cloth to act as a crib. That was now in the past as Roland Gooch had made us a beautiful crib which we at St Peter’s really appreciate. The crib received a blessing from Reverend Trish before the narrator began to tell us the story and the children, without rehearsal I might add, perform their parts. Reverend Trish compared life for Mary and Joseph as expectant parents to modern day parents to be, a stark reminder of the difficulties they faced. This seriousness was replaced with laughter from the congregation as Harbin the donkey decided he would become vocal too and Trish announced that it was the first time she had been upstaged by a donkey! An added bonus for our service was the presence of members of St Mary’s Church choir and as Walton have no choir, this was a special treat for us all. Following the service there was a photo call allowing those proud parents and grandparents to record this special moment in their child’s history. Finally there was an opportunity for the children to stroke the star of the show Harbin from the Donkey Sanctuary in Leeds, before refreshments were served.