Mexican flavour to Christmas celebrations

Mid-Norfolk’s Mexican Christmas continues this weekend with the introduction of more characters to the happy nativity fold.

The Barnham Broom group of Church of England parishes has taken up a fun version of the Mexican tradition of Posada during Advent.

In the original form, young people dressed as Mary and Joseph travelled from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling folk of the imminent arrival of the baby Jesus.

In the local version, church members have been taking figures of Mary and Joseph from place to place in the group, which stretches from Barford, Wramplingham and Kimberley to Westfield, near Dereham, where they have “stayed” with different hosts each evening.

The figures, crafted out of recycled materials by churchgoer Ann Tomalin, began their journey with a ride on the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Their other unusual ports of call have included the clubhouse bar at the Norfolk Golf and Country Club at Reymerston.

Mary and Joseph will arrive at the Crib Service at Barnham Broom church on Christmas Eve (4pm), to be joined by shepherds, an angel and the Christ Child.

But before then, the Three Posada Kings will start their own journeys through the group parishes. The new figures will be introduced at the annual carol service at St Peter’s Church, Reymerston, on Saturday (subs 23rd), starting at 5pm.

Julie Walpole, one of the Posada organisers, said this week: “Word on the grapevine is that Mary and Joseph are having a wonderful journey around the group. They have visited some wonderful people are very grateful for the hospitality shown and given. Joseph remarks that Mary is now getting very tired and will be glad to reach Barnham Broom on Sunday, where she can rest and await the imminent birth.”

All the figures will come together at a special Christingle Service on January 7 (3pm) at Barnham Broom, after which churchgoers will tuck into a special tea to celebrate not just the Posada experience but the feast of Epiphany.