The End of the Nativity (Letter from A Vicars Wife)

ben angel
Dear Maureen,

Thank you so much for your long and informative letter.  You are correct in thinking that the Reverend Richard is rather busy at the moment and I am sure that it was a kind thought to bring your concerns to me rather than him. I was very sad to read that you intend to resign your post as Sunday School teacher and am sorry that you were so disappointed with the Nativity this year. It was a surprise to have so many children dressed up as donkeys for the performance, and as you said a great shame that the child you had asked to play Mary was in such a terrible sulk.

However, I must thank you for your diligence in arranging so many practices before the service itself and your patience in waiting for my husband to arrive with the keys to open the church each time. I also completely understand how you felt that the rehearsals were spoilt somewhat by the temperature of the building. We would have loved to heat the church for you, however the PCC ruled that the cost would be too great to heat the building for the thirty practices and that was why they provided each child with a microwavable lavender bag (so kindly sewn by Doris Petterski). I am sorry to hear about the incident where Finlay put his lavender bag in the microwave for fifty five minutes, only to have it explode during Lilly’s solo of ‘Little Donkey’. We were very grateful that you managed to clear up the mess, it must have taken hours to pick up each piece of lavender! I have reminded the PCC of our need for a new hoover.

You will be pleased to know that the Baby Jesus has now been found! He was wedged neatly in-between the organ pipes. We have been to see Lucy’s parents and she has written you a little note to apologise for her behaviour. She was still very firm in her dislike of Joseph, who she claimed pinched her on the arm during the donkey ride and she had been very upset that the baby Jesus was not a girl. Lucy did agree that throwing the Baby Jesus across the church was probably not an appropriate response to any of these issues.

Last year our dog jumped up and ate our Baby Jesus from the nativity set. Right there in front of us all. It was Christmas Eve and we had to use a ‘pig in a blanket’ to replace him on Christmas Day. Fortunately none of our guests seemed to notice!

I thought that it was quite charming that the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ was rather over excited, I am sure that if I had been the star pointing to Jesus, I would have felt much the same. Please don’t be too concerned that the congregation were distracted from the real meaning of Christmas. I think that most of them would not know what ‘Gangham Style’ was and would just think it a sweet little dance of joy.

We did have some kindly responses from the congregation about the Crib Service and we all appreciated your hard work. It will be very hard to find someone to replace you, forty years is quite the legacy! Reverend Richard and I would like to invite you to the rectory for a small celebration of your service to the community over tea and cake next Wednesday. We do hope that you can make it, and I am sure that by then we will have rounded up all the costumes and props to return to you.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Rev Richard


  1. Sally

    I feel I am spinning sometimes with so much to do at church and few so often to do it and this just brings me back to earth and smile, laugh and praise God. Thank you.

  2. Jackie Buckle

    Jen, it’s hilarious. Especially love the lavendar bag scenario! You should really see if you can write a column in a local magazine or maybe a church-related one? X

  3. Anna

    Our baby Jesus has mysteriously disappeared from the church nativity set. We bought a new one from Poundland and that went walkies for a bit too. I suppose it’s good that people like Jesus so much.

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