Chandler’s Ford group perform Christmas nativity


Chandlers Ford youngsters will perform a modern-day Nativity to help support people in developing countries to break free from poverty this Christmas.

On Tuesday 20 December, at 7.30pm, St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandlers Ford will be hosting a special performance of ‘The Gift: A Modern Nativity’ for one night only.

The performance, arranged by local choir conductor and musical director Joanna Azavedo-Parker, hopes to empower the young people, who have written and organised the night, in aid of CAFOD’s World Gifts. The group hopes the performance will enable them to buy a special gift to help an overseas community during the festive period.

Musical director Joanna said:

‘I had the idea to do something with the young people of our parish who were confirmed this year having had the benefit of a vibrant and relatively youthful community in my younger years.

‘I wanted to do something outside of the Mass because at this age, the Mass in itself doesn’t always appeal. It was not the priest or the liturgy but the music that kept me at mass!

‘After a couple of chats with a few of the young people and some who are yet to be confirmed, I decided to put on a show: The Nativity.’

The group of secondary school pupils, aged between 11-15, have written the script themselves and are arranging everything from costume to lighting. Joanna continued:

‘I encouraged the young people to do most of it themselves and with that in mind, one girl volunteered to be the Art & Design department and the rest make up the cast, sound, lighting, and prop people.

‘I gave them a skeleton script (obviously, we know the story) and encouraged them to bring it into 2016 and relate to themselves as young people. There will be music and dancing and there will be some humour; three wise women instead of wise men for example, only gently in jest, but that’s the kind of flavour of the show.’

This Christmas, communities across the country will be attending and organising various events to fundraise for CAFOD World Gifts. The charity is celebrating twelve years of World Gifts, which has raised over £12 million, enabling thousands of presents to be brought by CAFOD supporters including 103,000 school starter kits, 46,000 goats, 38,000 chickens and 3,000 queen bees.

Last year alone, the gifts, which were established to help make a difference to people living in poverty, taught over 4,000 children to read.

Joanna concluded:

‘I choose CAFOD because CAFOD is the one organisation I remember from my growing up years and it seemed apt to link the two. This is very much the virgin flight but I hope it will lead to more things to involve the youth of today.’