Jo Birkby is the Children and Families Worker at Holy Trinity & St Saviour's Churches, Knaphill with Brookwood in Woking, Surrey. Jo has recently had a God-inspired moment, leading to a family community activity, similar to the Messy Nativity Sheep Trail but with a trendy twist! Messy creativity at it's best! Jo says:
Update from Pastor Sandra Rudd at the Sitka Lutheran Church in Alaska
'Here is the information to encourage others:
We held a Sheep trail in our local shops in Broadwater, Worthing this Advent.
A group of ladies from the church knitted the 20 sheep needed for the 20 shops who were more than willing to place them in their windows during December.We drew a winner at each of the 2 Christingle services we held on Christmas Eve and the winners got to choose a sheep each to take home.
We will definitely be doing it again in 2015 and will be sure to include some of the shops who missed out this time.
We did the Sheep Trail round our village shops in the week up to our Carol Service. 18 sheep went into 16 shops. The shopkeepers were invited to the service and the families who did the Trail. Everyone involved enjoyed it. One shop had customers wanting to buy the sheep. The butcher was made to promise the sheep would come to no harm in his care. The florist loved being part of a fun community event. The travel agent had never seen so many in and out of his shop. One shopkeeper came to the service with her children.
An alternative Messy Nativity Sheep Trail idea when you don’t have any shops!
St Lawrence Seal Chart Lost Sheep Trail
So we decided to do the sheep trail here in Morden. Wow is all I am able to say about the whole event and its not even started! From the Single dad that has learnt to knit :-) to the Muslim family that have translated the pattern into Gujarati so they could be apart of the knitting group. God has been using these sheep in so many ways and that's before the trail has even started!
Inspired by other stories of Messy Nativity Sheep Trails, we thought it would be good to have a go in Chard. I approached our Chard Town Team who organize our Christmas Lights switch on ceremony and suggested that we might run it in conjunction with them. Next I appealed for people to knit sheep and over some weeks several of us have been frantically knitting!