Unique Christmas project unveiled

A MAN who spent four years working on a project to tell the real story of Christmas has seen his venture unveiled.Residents and visitors to Bury St Edmunds will be able to see the fruit of Alan Jary's labour after a life-size sculpture depicting the nativity scene was erected in the heart of the town.

A MAN who spent four years working on a project to tell the real story of Christmas has seen his venture unveiled.

Residents and visitors to Bury St Edmunds will be able to see the fruit of Alan Jary's labour after a life-size sculpture depicting the nativity scene was erected in the heart of the town.

Made in steel by professional local artists, the traditional scene on Angel Hill is illustrated through a mock pop-up book, which Mr Jary hopes will appeal to children and adults.

He said: "I had the idea as Bury doesn't have anything to remind us of what Christmas is really about.


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"The town has a great Christian heritage and it just seemed wrong this wasn't already being illustrated. It cried out to have a nativity scene and it is important we remind people of the true spirit of Christmas.

"It is just something I thought would help a lot of people and I think it will benefit the town by giving people something to focus and reflect on."

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Mr Jary, who lives in Hardwick Lane, said the sculpture had been in the pipeline for four years and was going to be built last year until a last minute hitch.

It had now been funded completely from donations by local churches, commercial and private groups.

Mr Jary said: "I first wanted a nativity scene four years ago and since then, I have remained hopeful even when we came so close to having it last year.

"But now we have it and I am overwhelmed by the design and I feel there is something for everyone using modern materials for a traditional scene.

"It is everything I wanted and more and I am so grateful to the town council and borough council and of course the two artists."

Local artists Mac McCaughanand Michelle Castlesbuilt the sculpture in just six weeks and described the project as challenging.

Miss Castles said: "We came up with the design after Alan said he wanted something to tell the real story of Christmas.

"The word story kept going through my mind so I decided on a children's 3D pop-up book.

Mr Jary contacted the town's Wildwood Gallery who then invited the professional artists to create the sculpture.

Gallery partner Kevin Youngman said: "Wildwood believe this is something the whole town can be proud of and will hopefully be displayed for many years to come.

"Wildwood would like to thank Alan for asking us to be involved in such worthwhile project and Mac and Michelle for building such a wonderful sculpture."

As part of the fund raising of the project, Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has offered two tickets to Prime Ministers Question Time in the House of Commons for auction.

Anyone wishing to place a sealed bid for the prize should write to the Town Centre Manager, 90 Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, with their offer by December 15.

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