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“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Christ Church with St Mary's


Old Town Nativity


“The Journey” Sunday 9th December 2018

This major ecumenical Christmas community project told the story of the birth of Jesus in a colourful, interactive and imaginative way to people from across the community of Old Town,  Swindon.


The production was an immersive, transient piece of theatre, taking the audience through the journey as imagined for Joseph and Mary.

The colours and feel of the piece were heavy and rich, with lights and texture used to create the sense of a journey taken by many as they headed to their various ancestral homes for the census.


As the audience moved along they uncounted small vignettes of street theatre to give them a sense of the bigger picture as to how the population felt at this time of great uncertainty and upheaval.

Conflict and disagreement reflected the true nature of this gruelling truth as the cast and audience moved towards the final destination.

As intended this drew parallels with those within our own community today who find themselves refugees.


The central area for the piece was Wood Street, Old Town, Swindon which was fully closed off and transformed into a loud and heady Middle Eastern bazaar with street traders, music and food being offered.

Joseph and Mary sought shelter at several places along the way and it was along this stretch of the journey that their anxiety and difficulty became present. We also hear from Joseph about the challenges he faced and the decisions he had to make.





The entire piece culminated at Christ Church, Old Town, which took on the role of the Bethlehem stable.  As the public entered the church they were met by Joseph and Mary holding the new-born Jesus as a combined choir sang The Hallelujah Chorus, form Handel’s “Messiah” and the production came to its conclusion.


We believe we achieved our objectives in witnessing stronger relationships and improved dialogue between the various organisations and groups within Old Town and although we haven’t necessarily observed an increase in people enquiring about the Christian faith, we have received some very positive feedback, personally and via social media.  We have also observed an improved awareness and understanding of the needs of those seeking refuge in our town.


The following comments we believe reflect the success of the project:
“Just back from making the 4pm performance of “The  Journey . What a wonderful and meaningful experience.”

“Whether, believer, agnostic or atheist- there was much to reflect on in this Christmas story.”

“A wonderful, epic moving theatrical event with resonances for the secular and the non-secular.”

“Thank you for an amazing day- what Christmas is all about!”
Facebook:  The Journey @ oldtownjourney