ABOUT 250 people packed into Woking’s United Reformed Church on the Sunday before Christmas to see one of the oldest stories in history brought bang up to date in a polished performance.
Featuring Joseph as a car mechanic, played by John Macadam, and Rachel Willmott as a teenager Mary giving birth to Jesus, the modern take on the traditional nativity was set in a garage in London’s Brixton rather than a stable in Bethlehem.
The play, performed at the church in White Rose Lane, ran in tandem with a traditional version of the Christmas story on a split stage, with youngsters dressed as the classic angels, shepherds, and wise men.
Rather than a visit from the Angel Gabriel, in the contemporary version Mary received news of her pregnancy via a text message from ‘Angel G’.
Three scientists represented the famous wise men and visited the baby Jesus lying in an empty tool box lined with Joe’s winter coat at the garage where he was born.
Minister Rev Lucy Brierley explained that the idea for the 21st-century nativity had come from the church’s youth group.
She said: “We tried to imagine who would visit the baby Jesus today.
“In those days shepherds were considered the lowest members of society, so in our modern re-telling of the story, Jesus’ first visitors were homeless rough sleepers.
And instead of them being told of the birth by a heavenly host, they were given the good news from Street Angels patrolling the town centre.”
Christmas carols and prayers were all included in the church’s biggest and busiest service of the year.