Advent Project – An extraordinary story…

Ordinary people, in an ordinary place… an extraordinary story…

A few years back, I helped produce a project that portrayed people from a local village, relating them to characters in ‘The Christmas Story’.

‘Ordinary’ people in their ‘ordinary’ place – we are perhaps all part of an ‘extraordinary’ story. 

Recently, Jill Marsh the District Mission Enabler for Northampton Methodist District commented on the project and suggested we might help produce similar for others. It’s a simple idea that could perhaps resonate in YOUR community…

A local church chose nine nativity characters and nine corresponding pictures of people from their village life. You can see the original project here: Ordinary People. The project was printed as posters and displayed in a local shop window for shoppers and passers by to see. 

You could do similar in your community!

If you like the idea, I’d be happy to artwork and supply graphic poster images for you*. I can arrange cost-effective printing and delivery of A2 posters for you to display, and/or supply your images for online social/media use. *For a small donation to cover my time.

Using your images of the people around your community, it perhaps could help people think about what the nativity story means today. 

All you’d need to supply is nine quality images with captions, (it’s important to obtain consent for them to be used), and supply any local / logo and details etc. 

Images used previously were:

  • ‘Guiding Star’ – Guiding eg. a crossing patrol person
  • ‘Choir of Angels’ – Singing eg. playgroup school class
  • ‘Shepherds’ – Working eg. work men/women
  • ‘Mary’ – Expecting eg. mother to be
  • ‘Magi’ – Bringing eg. visitors
  • ‘Bethlehem’ – Waiting eg. village sign population
  • ‘Census Officials’ – Organising eg. parish council officers
  • ‘Inn Keeper’ – Hosting eg. barman/lady
  • ‘Angel Gabriel’ – Messenger eg. post-person

Let me know if you are interested, and if I can help. Contact me here Jules Richards 


Or do it all yourself…


What if Immanuel? Ordinary people, ordinary place, extraordinary story

(There's a new 2020 post click here with a free to download do-it-yourself template!)

2011 – I’ve produced some artwork recently for a project portraying people from a local village in Leicestershire and relating them to characters in ‘The Christmas Story’.
The local church identified 9 nativity characters and 9 corresponding pictures of people from contemporary village life. An interesting piece of creativity!

It’s to be on display in a shop window in Sibson Road in Birstall, for shoppers and passers by. Ordinary people, ordinary place, extraordinary story.

Extraordinary Story

It caused me to ponder various things… the obvious: ‘what if a God was one of us?’
The seasonal: Immanuel, ‘God is with us’?
“The Christmas Story” a curious story that I’m told differs in each gospel account and has had heaps tagged onto it over the years… to the point that I wonder if elves and reindeer were present in the stable? Oh and coke cola and red stuff.
God became man… ? We can wonder at the significance of the prophesied birth. Light and angelic hope…
I dunno…
The project above asks, if it happened today, “where would you (and I) be in it”?

Hummm… I can’t imagine…

I’d like to think that I could sense the majesty and grace of such a prospective happening, but can’t see myself as the chosen host, the visitors, the authorities or the worshippers… but I guess I am still one of the ‘us’.

Immanuel, ‘God is with us’?

Check it out anyway, it’s produced by the Methodist Church in Birstall all credit to Rachel Parkinson and her team. It’s on Sibson Road Birstall – from next week.

Ordinary people, ordinary place, extraordinary story.