VOLUNTEERS at Eden Church in Penarth were not going to let the pandemic get in the way of the 11th production of their annual Christmas nativity.

For the last ten years a live outdoor production of the nativity Christmas story has played out at Cosmeston Medieval Village, but that became impossible this year due to the coronavirus regulations.

In response, Mark Foster and more than 30 other volunteers teamed up to produce a brilliant video on Youtube – which has already been watched by more than 1,100 people.

A modern take on the nativity story takes in sites at Cosmeston, Stanwell Road, the esplanade, and the pier – but performers kept in character by donning the clothing of the time.

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“We didn’t want the nativity to just become another thing that was taken by the pandemic,” said organiser Mr Frost.

“People have really enjoyed it in the past, we’ve regularly had more than 150 people attend in recent years, so we felt we should do everything we could to get it on again.

“The great thing is that it’s given us a chance to cast our net further – and we’ve actually had more than 700 people watch the performance now.

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“We’ve had a great reaction. Lots of people who said they’ve never gone before have said they watched it online and really enjoyed it.

“We are well aware there are cars passing in the background and people might be chatting, and that’s what we wanted. We didn’t feel we should edit that out. We thought some people would watch it from further afield, and we really wanted to showcase Penarth’s brilliant landmarks in the performance.”

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Mr Frost says volunteers have been able to put the video together due in part to the pandemic, which has helped the church modernise.

“We’ve really improved our technical expertise over the last year because we’ve had to in order to keep providing a service.

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“We’ve managed to connect with lots of new people and it’s given us a chance to attract some younger members.

“Hopefully the people who have tuned in online for our services and the nativity will feel they want to come in person when we can again.”

The 38-minute film can be viewed at https://youtu.be/vCDf86dbpxI.

Eden Church have created this website for the nativity so people know how to see the film https://christmasnativityatcosmestonvill.weebly.com.