Pupils bring nativity to life with Spitalfields Market performance

Mary on the donkey. Picture: Polly Bindman

Mary on the donkey. Picture: Polly Bindman - Credit: Archant

Despite it being the kind of weather that tempted curling up indoors, Christ Church Primary School managed to draw an eager crowd to Spitalfields market for their fifth annual Living Nativity performance.

Mary and Joseph travel through Spitalfields Market. Picture: Polly Bindman

Mary and Joseph travel through Spitalfields Market. Picture: Polly Bindman - Credit: Archant

On Wednesday, December 11, onlookers gathered in Bishop's Square, in Spitalfields Market, to watch 160 primary school children dressed as characters from the nativity story perform a carol service, readings of the Christmas story, and a dance routine finale.

Also present was the Allen and Overy choir, who performed a carol service, and special guest Bayleaf the donkey, from Spitalfields City Farm.

Julian Morant, headteacher at the Brick Lane school, said: "It's very special to be able to lead the whole procession through the streets of Spitalfields with the donkey."

Addressing the crowd, he urged members of the public to pop in and say hello to the school, which has an open afternoon every term.

The Allen and Overy choir perform. Picture: Polly Bindman

The Allen and Overy choir perform. Picture: Polly Bindman - Credit: Archant

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A young Joseph stood next to a brave Mary, who sat on Bayleaf's back throughout the performance while the donkey munched on a pile of hay.

Emma Pooley, a farmyard worker from Spitalfields accompanying Bayleaf, said the animal was fond of children, adding: "it loves anyone that gives it affection and fuss."

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After the nativity, the Allen and Overy choir sung three classic Christmas songs before the children showed off a specially prepared dance routine.

Law firm Allen and Overy has been a partner of Christ Church since 2007, funding trips and its creative curriculum. Its volunteers also assist with reading, and put on days for painting, tidying and gardening - with one of the volunteers creating the dance routine for the pupils.

Denise Irving, a Newham-based former teacher, came especially to watch the event. She said: "I love to hear children singing."

Ibz Meah, whose daughter Alayna is in reception at the school, was excited for the show, which he thought "should be fun". He added: "Spitalfields is a fantastic area, within a deprived borough."

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