About 30 nativity cribs will be on display at the recently-completed Our Lady of Kapiti church in Paraparaumu in Wellington archdiocese.
Parish council member Bob Houston said the project, “Cribs on Kapiti”, will also give people the chance to have a look around the $11.5million church. The cribs will be on display from December 16-23 between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.
“We look upon this as an opportunity to introduce a lot of people to our beautiful, big, open church,” he said.
“Entry is by a can of food or a gold coin donation. We have a charity here that we run within our parish called ‘Our Lady of Kapiti Events’. Any money raised will be used to look after families and kids in need over Christmas,” Mr Houston said.
The idea was a spin-off from the “Lights on Te Moana” at the Baptist church in Waikanae, which featured a Christmas tree wonderland.
John and Carole Hutchings, as well as several parishioners from Our Lady of Kapiti, had been involved in that project.
“Father Michael (McCabe) came along last year and loved the concept and mentioned we should do something similar when the new church is open. ‘Cribs on Kapiti’ was his idea of a title, and a couple of us looked at ideas for the church,” said Mrs Hutchings.
Mrs Hutchings said the Catholic Women’s Guild are focusing on the foyer of the church “with Christmas trees at the entrance, and three main placements being Shepherds, with sheep, Mary Joseph and Jesus in the stable, and the three Wise Men with a Bedouin tent”.
“These are life-size figures that have been created and dressed by us,” she said.
“John and I realised that this was too big an undertaking to be done by the Women’s Guild and we put a request in our newsletter. From that, the youth group, Filipino community and Dove fellowship have come on board, and various parishioners have loaned and donated items to assist with the dressing of the church,” she added.
She said a “Nativity city” will be displayed opposite the main Nativity scene, comprised of 30 loaned and donated sets. Mr Houston organised two trees to be professionally decorated.
Different music groups will also be performing Christmas carols each night, and some will have audio-visual presentation as well.
“The parish family are very excited with this new venture for our church, and by opening it to the public encourages the local community to come and enjoy the event,” Mrs Hutchings said.