We want your camel: Hull's Holy Trinity hunts animals for 'living' Christmas nativity
THEY are not native to East Yorkshire and don't often attend church.
But a madcap minister in Hull is hoping to track down three camels to star in a "living Nativity" this Christmas.
The Reverend Matt Woodcock has set himself the monster challenge of putting on a moving nativity scene outside Holy Trinity Church – complete with camels for the wise men to ride on, a star rising above the church tower and a pregnant woman to play Mary.
"I think I've already got a donkey and a horse but tracking down a camel in East Yorkshire is proving to be a bit difficult," said Mr Woodcock.
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"It is likely to be chaotic and all over the place but what better way for children to find out about the story of Christmas than with real animals?
"It is one of those crazy ideas that is going to take a lot of organising but I'm completely buzzing about it. It is going to be amazing."
Although the details are far from concrete, Mr Woodcock plans to have the three wise men leaving the church in Hull's Old Town on camels.
The nativity scene will then move around Trinity Square as either Mr Woodcock or church leader the Reverend Dr Neal Barnes narrates the Christmas story.
A pregnant woman and her husband will play the parts of Mary and Joseph.
At the end of the tour round the square, baby Jesus will be "born" in front of the church.
A glowing star will rise above the church tower and the story will end with the church bells ringing.
Mr Woodcock said: "We want the whole community round the church to get involved.
"We want a pub landlord to play the innkeeper and it would be great if some of the guys from St Paul's boxing club could be Herod's men or shepherds.
"I haven't approached him yet but how good would it be if we could get Luke Campbell to dress in gold and be the Angel Gabriel?"
The event is going to take place on the last Saturday before Christmas – December 22.
As well as the animals, the church also hopes to run a Christmas market inside with a traditional Christingle service.
Mr Woodcock said: "This idea came about because we were all discussing what we did at church last Christmas.
"It was OK but we realised we have this massive great square in front of us and we're not doing much with it.
"It was also a lot to do with Santa, so we thought this year would be a great opportunity to bring the story to life and focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
"Neal did a living nativity in his old church in Anlaby with a donkey, but we wanted to take it to a whole new level."
The event already has the thumbs up from Hull City Council, providing health and safety requirements are met.
Now Holy Trinity needs the community to rally support for the living nativity.
Anyone who can help make costumes, bring animals or provide the icing on the cake – the camels – is urged to get in touch.
Mr Woodcock said: "I've got a wager with Neal because he thinks I won't get a camel.
"I'd love to get one each for the three wise men but if I could just get one that would be fantastic.
"I'm determined to do it – even if I have to go to Egypt and bring one back on the plane myself."
Anyone who can help can Tweet @HolyTrinityHull or @revmattwoody or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org