Call for 1,500 people to donate £1 each to repair much-loved Bury Se Edmunds Nativity sculpture
A long-standing Christmas tradition needs donation-funded repairs if it is to return to Bury St Edmunds this festive season.
The Christmas Nativity tableau has stood on Angel Hill almost every year since its first installation in 2004.
However, it was notably absent in 2019 as it is in need of substantial repair following 15 years on display.
It is currently at Designs on Metal, in Stowlangtoft, awaiting repair – however an appeal has been issued to raise the £1,500 needed to get it back on Angel Hill.
Alan Jary, who originated the tableau in 2004, said he hoped as many people as possible would donate as the sculpture was ‘owned by the people’.
“What I would really like is for 1,500 people to send £1 each – that would almost mean more than one big donation,” said Alan.
“The tableau belongs to the people of the town and this is an opportunity for people to recognise their ownership.
“I hope readers who missed the sculpture in 2019 will help to ensure it returns this year.”
Alan said he was only aware of one incident of the sculpture being tampered with during its years on Angel Hill when, one cold Sunday morning he attended the early Cathedral service and on passing the Nativity thought it looked strange.
On investigation, he realised a reveller from the previous night had decided to pour a can of John Smiths over Baby Jesus, which had then frozen into icicles as it dripped off the sculpture.
“I was quite cross and then I realised someone had had the bright idea of a baptism using pale ale,” said Alan. “It didn’t cause any long-term harm.”
Now, the sculpture is in storage at Designs on Metal, in Stowlangtoft, awaiting repair in the hope it can go on display once again.
Alan said: “The sculpture is unique as a Christmas decoration. It was designed and made by local artists following a successful funding appeal. Local societies, churches, councils, business and individuals all contributed to its making and the council facilitated its installation”
Prior to the Christmas Fayre’s inception a service of worship was held at the Nativity on Advent Sunday year. Alan hopes this tradition could be reinstated this year.
Send donations to Alan Jary, c/o Abbey Garden Friends, Moyse’s Hall, Bury.