Christmas spirit alive in Haworth and Sutton

Keighley News: The shepherds and their animals gather in the village park during the outdoor recreation of the nativity story in Sutton The shepherds and their animals gather in the village park during the outdoor recreation of the nativity story in Sutton

The streets of Haworth and Sutton teemed with people on Sunday for events evoking the spirit of Christmas.

An estimated 400 people followed Mary and Joseph through Sutton in an outdoor recreation of the nativity story.

And at least 300 people carried candles up Main Street in Haworth during the village’s torchlight parade.

The procession – held for about 30 years – was hailed as “absolutely and utterly brilliant” by the man leading it.

Haworth hotelier, Mike Hutchinson, said: “There was drizzly rain, but people still came out – there was a lovely atmosphere.

“We asked people to turn to each other and hug them, and they did. There were so many smiles.”

The parade, which included the Oakworth Morris dancers, the Drighlington Band and the Bradford Chorale, stopped at various points in Main Street so people could sing carols.

Haworth also hosted its annual Candlemas Eve on Saturday with a smaller parade down Main Street.

In Sutton, the outdoor nativity, now in its seventh year, attracted families and churchgoers from across South Craven.

The crowd watched as the Christmas story unfolded, beginning with Mary and Joseph setting off from Nazareth – in reality, the Bay Horse car park.

The party stopped at the Black Bull and King’s Arms, where the real-life landlords said there was no room at the inn.

Mary and Joseph met shepherds in Sutton Park and found a haven for the newborn baby Jesus – played by little Oliver Walker – in a park shelter.

The crowd sang carols accompanied by a brass ensemble.

Sutton vicar, the Reverend Canon Michael Cowgill, said: “It’s an opportunity for the Church to present the Christmas story in a more unusual way, and invite people to join in.

“People really appreciate it. It means they think about the real meaning of Christmas. It’s a very good community event – lots of people who don’t go to church join in.”

The nativity was organised by the Cross Hills and District Fellowship of Churches.

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