Cribs from Ecuador to South Africa, Germany to Jerusalem at St Ippolyts Nativity Crib Festival

A stately-looking crib from Shelagh Cox at the St Ippolyts Crib Festival.

A stately-looking crib from Shelagh Cox at the St Ippolyts Crib Festival. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds flocked to St Ippolyts over the weekend for the village church’s annual Nativity Crib Festival, a staple of the North Herts Advent season.

The scene at the St Ippolyts Nativity Crib festival on Saturday.

The scene at the St Ippolyts Nativity Crib festival on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

There were about 160 cribs at St Ippolyts Church from all around the world – from Ecuador to South Africa, from Germany to Jerusalem.

And among the highlights was the ‘Crib that Grew’, which the late Mary Code created over more than three decades out of parts as diverse as an antique-shop toy stable, German wood figures, model trees from Sweden and a Christmas candle bought from a Greek Orthodox priest at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Mary, who edited the parish newsletter Pax and was an occasional supply teacher at St Ippolyts School, moved to St Albans about 30 years ago and died this year – leaving items including almost 30 Nativity cribs to St Ippolyts churchwarden Jane Veasey.

Jane told the Comet: “I knew she had a lot of cribs, but I hadn’t realised just how many. I love this big one and how it’s been collected over the years.

Jane Veasey with the late Mary Code's 'Crib that Grew'.

Jane Veasey with the late Mary Code's 'Crib that Grew'. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“She didn’t have any family, so I think she’d be really pleased to know the cribs are here now. She’d have loved this.”

Nativity cribs originating from more exotic climes often feature a degree of the creator’s culture – a Peruvian crib, for example, had the Holy Family wearing traditional Andean dress.

Most Read

The cribs on display on Saturday and Sunday included ones lent by Stevenage’s Holy Trinity and Christ the King churches. Each display was accompanied by a card caption.

It was the first crib festival for the village’s new vicar Rev Ginni Dear, whose amusing tongue-in-cheek caption for her contribution was widely remarked upon.

Chrissy Cass' delicate crib at the St Ippolyts Crib Festival.

Chrissy Cass' delicate crib at the St Ippolyts Crib Festival. - Credit: Archant

Mary Hooper, one of the annual event’s organisers, told the Comet yesterday that they were delighted to have raised £1,216 for church funds.

“It was very busy on Sunday afternoon in particular,” said Mary. “Very successful, we had a great turnout.

“If you missed it this year there’ll be another one next year – the first weekend in December, as always.”

For more see stippolytschurch.org.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter