Dales chapel holds last nativity bringing to an end 52-year tradition

Jean Cockburn (left) and Rona Trowell with the children at Aysgarth Chapel.

Aysgarth Methodist Chapel has held its last nativity bringing to an end 52 years of this annual community event.

With the chapel due for closure in 2019 the last nativity was held on Sunday, December 9.

It was started by Jean Cockburn in 196os. She is now 92-years-old.

“I used to go to Kendal to buy suitable plays as there was a nice little religious bookshop there,” she said.

It was pointed out at this year’s nativity that the parents of several of the children taking part had also previously participated in the plays – and some of the grandparents too.

For the past 25 years, Rona Trowell has helped to organise the chapel’s nativity event. Both she and Jean were thanked by Frank Trowell.

In recent years Rona and Jean have introduced some very creative changes to the nativity story adapting it to the abilities of the children taking part. This year’s was a very good example with the older children (Charlotte, Thomasina, Abigail and George) providing the narration and impressing everyone with their singing.

The younger children (Sebastian, Douglas, Aidan, Lily-Anne, Jacob and Will) had great fun enacting the arrival of the nativity characters.

The congregation also thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental solos by Amy and Sophie.

Andrew Souter accompanied the carol singing on the organ.

The collection of £160 was shared between the charities Action for Children and Children in Need.