Christmas crib on display in Bilton church

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A lovingly handcrafted nativity scene which aims to capture the magic of Christmas is now on display at a church in Bilton.

The Neapolitan Christmas crib, known by its Italian name Il Presepe, is the work of two sisters from Naples, Valeria Burdon and Loredana Ciavattella.

It’s taken the pair six-years to create this hand-made nativity scene, each figurine carefully crafted and laid in porcelain with the help of a third sister Elena back in Naples.

It’s now on display at St Joseph’s Church in Bilton after it was blessed in a special ceremony with Father Neil Byrne earlier this month.

“Each year I try to recreate the magical night when Christ was born, and each year I add to the work a little peace of my heart,” said Valeria, who now lives on Oatlands Drive.

“The thing I enjoy most is to see the people, children and adult alike, looking for something or someone among those figures.”

Parishioners at St Joseph’s have helped with the creation of the Christmas crib.

Drew Robbins made a river, with running water, while Agnese Regan and her children made a Magi display.

Kiana Miri created the Holly arrangements, Mr and and Mrs Elliot-Lane created a fence for Bethlehem, while George Campbell painted the houses.

The Christmas crib is now on display at St Joseph’s Church on Skipton Road in Bilton until January 6 and church members, families, schoolchildren and residents are all invited to visit and give donations which will go to charity in the run up to Christmas.

To find out more about the crib and its display, or the opening times for St Joseph’s Church, visit its website at www.stjosephsharrogate.org uk.