Christmas crib surrounded by rubble

Published: Tuesday December 19, 2023

Every year thousands of people from across the county go to Tewkesbury Abbey for their traditional Christmas services. This year they will see a crib with a difference as the Abbey remembers the suffering of children in Gaza and Israel.

Tewkesbury’s Vicar, the Revd Canon Nick Davies explained, “We have all seen the terrible pictures of suffering in Gaza and southern Israel – the land where Jesus was born, and it seemed right to remember everyone affected as we pray for peace this Christmas.”

The rubble crib will be available for people to see in the Abbey throughout the Christmas season and there will also be an opportunity for people to make donations to the British Red Cross appeal.  The charity say over 16,000 people, including children, have been killed in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank since 7 October and that two million people have fled their homes.

“As we remember Jesus being born in a stable and coming as the Prince of Peace, we need to remember children of the Holy Land who will be sleeping in bombsites or in fear of missiles and who are longing for peace. Christians in the Holy Land will have a hard and difficult Christmas and have called on the church around the world to pray for peace and to work for an end to their suffering. We hope that the Tewkesbury Abbey crib will be a small contribution to that.”

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the first Christmas crib made by St Francis of Assisi. St Francis used farm animals to bring the story alive to people in a new way.  This year Canon Davies hopes Tewkesbury’s crib will do the same. He continued, “As we place the Christ child in amongst the rubble this Christmas Eve, we will not only be blessing our crib but also praying God’s blessing of peace for the children of the Holy Land.”



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