Vicar adds some zest to a traditional Christmas

Dressed as an orange, a trainee vicar is ap-peeling to churchgoers in Nottinghamshire to help them understand the meaning behind “Christingle”.

The Rev Kate Bottley is the curate of a group of villages in Sutton in Ashfield; Skegby, Stanton Hill and Teversal.  She spent days making and painting a huge ‘orange’ to illustrate the popular nationwide service called Christingle. 

Thousands of churches up and down the country celebrate Christingle which uses an orange, candle, red ribbon and raisons on sticks to symbolise the Christian message.  Usually congregations are given their own fruit, which has a lighted candle cut into the centre, to hold and take home with them.  The Rev Kate Bottley decided to take it one step further!

She says: “This is a difficult time for people, money’s tight and people are worried about their jobs.  This was a chance to have a bit of fun, but there’s also a serious message.

“As Christians we’re called to be like Jesus.  I believe Jesus was the light of the World and is concerned about what’s happening around us.

“By dressing up as the candle in the middle of the orange I wanted to remind people that we’re called to shine God’s hope into the world.”

The costume will feature in three church services including St Katherines’s at Teversal on 14 December at 11am and St Andrews in Skegby on 28 December at 10:30am.

As a former RE teacher, Kate is no stranger to using innovative approaches to interest people.  However, not everything has gone to plan.

 “I made the costume in two segments from papier-mâché in our front lounge.  It was a bit of a giggle, but as I was putting the finishing touches to the orange paint, I realised it was too big to get through the door.  In the end my husband and I had to carry it out through the patio!”.

The Christingle Service was introduced to the Church of England in 1968 by “The Children’s Society and is expected to be celebrated in thousands of churches over the coming weeks.  


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