A CHURCH in Warwickshire has taken the Posada tradition — of sending the figures of Mary and Joseph from home to home to announce the nativity — to a whole new level, by sending them around the world.
Churchgoers at All Saints’, Harbury, in Warwickshire, wanted to reach out further with their Posada figures, which for several years had been going from home to home in the village throughout Advent.
This year, the two four-inch-high figures started out early on their nativity journey, in February, and have been as far afield as India, Portugal, Iceland, Mexico, Germany, and the Holy Land (twice), as well as all over the UK.
The figures have been on holidays and educational trips, and have travelled thousands of miles.
The organiser, Gill Guilford, said: “Someone came up with the idea of reaching out wider with the Posada figures this year, and offered to take them to India. . . Since then they’ve been on business trips and family holidays, folk festivals, and pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Taizé, as well as the Great North Run.
“We’ve asked everyone who takes them to take a photograph with them on location, and we have photos of them in boats, and even on donkeys on the beach at Weston-super-Mare, which is very appropriate. There was one occasion when they arrived back in the village from Iceland at 4 p.m., and an hour later they were with someone else on their way to Germany.”
The figures are going to France for half-term; and then go on a pilgrimage with the Area Dean, the Revd Craig Groocock, to the Holy Land; but they will arrive back in the village in time for Advent, when they will begin their traditional journey. Some of those who have taken them on holiday this year have already asked whether they can have them in their homes during Advent.
“You don’t know how many lives they may have touched on their journeys. It’s just a way to spread the word,” Ms Guilford said.