Fulfilled living in later life

Monday 28th November 2022

Presenting... our all-age nativities!

As Christmas approaches, plans for intergenerational nativity plays are taking shape across our homes

This year, several of our homes are inviting younger members of their communities to join them in telling the Christmas story.

At Bethany Christian Home in Plymouth, pupils from Fletewood School will be joining our family members for an intergenerational nativity on 5th December. There are well-established links between the school and the care home and this collaboration is one of the ways they are coming together again after the separation of the pandemic.

One pupil, Ethan, 8, said “We are really excited (and a little bit nervous)! It might be the first show the residents have seen in a while because we haven’t been able to do a show with them for ages!”

Pilgrims Friend Fletewood School Nativity

Deputy Headteacher of Fletewood School, Jackie Cooper, agreed saying, “It is fantastic to be able to return to Bethany Christian Home. We love giving the children the opportunity to socialise with people from older generations – it’s just wonderful to see how the faces of both the children and the residents light up!”

For our family members, it’s a joy to spend time with children and share the message of Christmas with the next generation. Two of our family members are especially excited to be taking part. Anthony (91) and Sarah (84) are a couple at the home who used to regularly present the nativity and other Bible stories at primary schools with the Bible Society initiative Open the Book. Sarah is happy to pass on the baton of one of the central roles to a pupil from Fletewood School this year though, “I’ll be pleased to see a younger person than me play Mary!”.

Pilgrims Friend Bethany Sarah and Anthony

Anthony says, “It will bring back happy memories of working with children in schools and sharing the word of God with them through drama and stories.”

At Luff House in Walton-on-the-Naze there will be a sock puppet nativity taking place on 12th December. Two children belonging to a staff member will be coming in specially to take on the roles of Mary and Joseph.

In recent months, the home has been working to build links with the wider community, including its youngest members.

Ruth Mockler, Activities and Community Engagement (ACE) Facilitator, explained how our family members enjoyed a recent toddler group which was held at the home. She said, “It’s just lovely to see children in the home, it just brings them (our family members) life and energy. They love engaging with children.”

Pilgrims Friend Luff House Sockpuppets1
Pilgrims Friend Luff House Sockpuppets2
Pilgrims Friend Luff House Sockpuppets3

Ruth explained that the sock puppet idea is designed to help ensure everyone can be involved. She said, “We’ve got a lot of folk who I don’t think will remember lines for a nativity. I thought if I read the Christmas story those that can verbally engage can and those that can’t can still have a puppet and be part of it.”

Our family members have been getting busy making their sock puppets. On the day, friends and family of those living at Luff House will be invited to come and watch.

At Shottermill House in Haslemere, an intergenerational nativity will be taking place on 20th December. The daughter of our Hummingbird Jo will be joining our family members, with volunteers of all ages also invited along to take part.

We would love you to pray:

- That older and younger people will be encouraged by sharing the story of Jesus’ birth together
- For our ACE Facilitators who are working hard to organise everything, from props and costumes to lines and logistics
- That links between our care homes and their local communities would be strengthened

More stories of friendship across age boundaries from Pilgrims' Friend Society