The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Nativity Play

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Gervaise Phinn, was a school teacher in the farming community of the Yorkshire Dales, who became a School Inspector and went on to write several hilarious books about his experiences with the children he met during his visits to some of the schools.

There follows an adaptation of one such experience.

"At one primary school I attended, deep in the Yorkshire Dales, I was met at the door by the headmistress, who was a tall angular woman dressed in black, who looked like a refugee from "Wuthering Heights." "Good morning Mr Phinn" she exclaimed, "We are ready for your visit" and showed me into the nearest classroom, full of eager children. I spent the morning talking to the children and observing their classes until lunch time. I had taken sandwiches with me and spent the lunch hour talking to the head. She then told me that in the afternoon the children were going to perform a Nativity play, which they had improvised themselves."

The highlight of the day dawned and Mary, a pretty little thing of about six or seven, was bustling about the stage and dusting, when the Angel of the Lord appeared stage right. The heavenly spirit was a tall self-conscious boy with a plain face and sticky-out ears. He was dressed in a white bed sheet, with large paper wings and a tinsel halo. Wiping his nose on his sleeve, he glanced round suspiciously then sidled up to Mary like a dodgy market trader and said, "I'm the Angel Gabriel and I've got news for you." "What is it, I'm busy?" asked Mary. "God said you have to have a baby boy and call him Jesus." Mary glared at him and said, "I'd rather call him Gavin," "Well you can't cos God said so," replied Gabriel. "Well I don't know what I'm going to tell Joseph," said the little girl and putting on a pained expression and picking up her duster again. Then Joseph entered, a cheeky faced little lad dressed in a brown woollen dressing gown, thick blue socks and a multi-coloured towel over his head held in place by an elastic belt, "Hello Mary," he said, "Have you had a good day?" "Yes pretty good really," she told him whilst nodding theatrically, there was a slight pause before Mary continued, "I have some good news and some bad, the good news is that I'm having a baby soon and the bad news is that it's not yours!"

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child, shall not enter it"



Published Sat 22nd Dec 2018 01:31:45
Last Modified on Sat 22nd Dec 2018 01:31:45

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