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Knit-ivity goes on display at Suffolk church

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 December 2017

The Rector Mark Lowther and Joanna Mabey in Aldeburgh church with the nativity.  Picture: SARAH  LUCY BROWN

The Rector Mark Lowther and Joanna Mabey in Aldeburgh church with the nativity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The traditional nativity has been given a woolly makeover by members of a Suffolk craft group.

Rector Mark Lowther and carpenter Adam Macintyre with the knitting group and  their  lifesize nativity.  Picture: SARAH  LUCY BROWNRector Mark Lowther and carpenter Adam Macintyre with the knitting group and their lifesize nativity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Knit and Natter group at the Fairfield Centre in Aldeburgh were given the task of creating a life size version of the traditional scene using wool.

The idea came from Revd Johanna Mabey, the assistant curate at Aldeburgh Parish Church, who saw pictures of a similar project completed by knitters in Bristol a few years ago who wanted to raise money for charity.

“I thought wow,” said Revd Johanna, “What an excellent idea.”

She proposed the idea to the knitting group, led by Rita Fryer, who agreed to take on the mammoth task to help the church raise funds.

Joan Fellows  knitting. Picture: SARAH  LUCJoan Fellows knitting. Picture: SARAH LUC

With permission from the knitting pattern company to supersize the original designs and support from the church the knitters started to put together the figures of Joseph, Mary, Jesus and the three wise men.

The end result is something that has to be seen to be comprehended according to Revd Johanna.

“It’s just amazing! They look fantastic.”

“The faces are really quite uncanny and life like and they have animation in them, it’s beautiful.

Joan Fellows and Pam Godchild knitting. Picture: SARAH  LUCJoan Fellows and Pam Godchild knitting. Picture: SARAH LUC

“You have to see them to appreciate them.”

Revd Johanna hopes that the nativity will continue to grow over the coming years as animals and other members of the traditional scene are added.

Rita and the Knit and Natter group are already on board with the expansion plan after having to say goodbye to their creations as they moved into Aldeburgh Church this week.

The church’s new residents gathered quite a bit of attention during their installation, says Revd Johanna.

Pat Ward and Diane McCarthy with their creations.   Picture: SARAH  LUCY BROWNPat Ward and Diane McCarthy with their creations. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Everybody who sees them they just smile.”

The hope is that much like the group that inspired them in Bristol, that the Aldeburgh nativity will be taken on tour to help raise funds for the church.

The nativity will be making one trip out this year to visit the town’s Rainbow Tots toddlers group on December 17.

Apart from that short visit the figures will remain in Aldeburgh Parish Church where they will be on show until the new year.

The figures being transported to the church.  Picture: SARAH  LUCY BROWNThe figures being transported to the church. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Visitors can come to see the nativity every day in December during daylight hours.

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