Christmas in Swindon town centre was dramatically brought to life on 23 December, when The Brunel Centre played host to two camels bearing three kings, accompanied by a rapping vicar.
Inside The Brunel a stage was set up where an eight minute production telling the traditional nativity scene, explaining the visit of the three wise men to Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in the room behind the inn, after they had been turned away from all other accommodation in Bethlehem.
The parts were played by professional actors dressed in traditional middle-eastern costume, who interacted with shoppers between shows.
Play writer James Burke Dunsmore said: “The Act of Giving is about faith and courage. The journey of the Wise Men was not easy, but as men of reason and evidence they had to see the new King with their own eyes. Mary and Joseph celebrate the responsibility they have being parents to Jesus, but discover that this may be far more dangerous than they had previously thought”.
In between the nativity performances, shoppers were entertained by YouTube sensation, Devon’s Beatbox Vicar, the Reverend Gavin Tyte who told the nativity story in rap form.
There was also be a big life size picture of the nativity characters and adults and children were able to pop their heads through the face holes and have their photo taken as Mary, Joseph and the shepherds.
The event was organised by Swindon based Bible Society and the Brunel Centre. Jane Stewart, Brunel marketing manager, said: “We’ve never done anything quite like this before so when Bible Society approached us we thought it was a great idea and a super way of reminding people what Christmas is all about.
"The Beatbox Vicar added another dimension to the event; he really got people talking about the meaning of Christmas.”
Rachel Rounds, Head of Media at Bible Society, added: “We wanted to offer Swindon shoppers an opportunity to experience the Bible in a fun and different way. And we want to see people’s reactions to a nativity, played out in the reality of everyday life and more than just ‘a nice story for children.
"As a local organisation it’s great to be part of such a vibrant community this Christmas”.