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Lichfield’s Town Crier spreads his wings for Late Night Nativity

Ken Knowles

Ken Knowles

Lichfield’s Town Crier Ken Knowles will play the Angel Gabriel – in full regalia and with a huge pair of wings – in a special production of The Nativity.

Late night Christmas revellers in Lichfield this year will be treated to something unique as they walk around the city centre.

Folks around between 10pm and midnight could be surprised by the ‘pop-up’ Nativity play, complete with musicians and singers.

The performances – on Friday and Saturday December 20 & 21 – are a joint initiative between Lichfield Mysteries and the city’s Late Night Listeners.

Performers will promenade around the city, led by a group of musicians, stopping now and again to perform a short Nativity story.

People will be invited to join in the songs and carols.

Lichfield Mysteries’ members have given daytime performances of The Nativity in the city for many years, but decided this year to join forces with the Late Night Listeners – a joint church initiative to help ensure pub and club-goers get home safely – which has been operating since 2010.

Forty volunteers work in teams every Friday from 10pm to 2am and on two Saturday nights each month.

Supported by the police, the group has received an award for helping reduce crime levels on Friday nights by 20 per cent.

Some of the cast who will present the Late Night Nativity

Some of the cast who will present the Late Night Nativity

Spokesman Rick Hill said: “We serve tea, coffee and biscuits and provide flip-flops, blankets etc if needed, along with a listening ear.

“Since we started we have served over 10,000 cups of tea or coffee, listened to over 1,000 conversations and literally saved a few lives.”

Performances of Lichfield Mysteries, a community arts project, take place every three years and involve up to 700 people from all walks of life and a wide range of age groups. It attracts thousands of people to the city for the performances on Market Square and in Lichfield Cathedral.

Rick is also a Mysteries’ committee member and will co-ordinate the Nativity, the script for which has been adapted by fellow committee member and director Christine Genders and Listener Sally Hayter.

Mysteries chairman Peter Chell said: “The Mysteries’ actors and singers are looking forward to working with the Late Night Listeners on this unique project.

“We hope that people will come along and follow us as we parade around the city in costume, performing and singing as we go.”

Any donations given will go to Lichfield Food Bank and the Mysteries.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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2 Comments

  1. (Mr) Leslie Searle

    24th February, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hello,
    Sorry, it’s nothing to do with activities concerning the arts.
    I came across the name Christine Genders, and wondered if we could be related.
    My grandmother’s maiden name was Hannah Rebecca Genders. Her family ran a pub in Lichfield (The Wellington Arms, I believe).
    She married grandad – who was stationed at Whittington Barracks at the time – at St. Michaels church.
    I have lots of information about the very large Genders Family and can gkladly Forward it if you wish.

    Incidentally, I was born in Polesworth and I attended Borrowcop Lane School in Lichfield – many years ago!

    Looking Forward to hearing from you.

    Les Searle

  2. davidanthonysmith

    24th February, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    So you reckon the council needs to save money. These affairs are likeable but not necessary during hard times. Cut the ceremony not the services..