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St Mary’s Church, Acton Socially Distanced ‘Follow the Star’ Walk

Some of the stars on display within St Marys Church Acton churchyard (photo: Jonathan White)

Article and Photographs: Jonathan White

St Mary’s Church in Acton organised a circular Christmas-themed walk on the afternoon of Sunday 20th December 2020.

Walkers started from the Acton car park on Chester Road at timed intervals and followed a star-marked route to the grounds of Dorfold Hall, before returning to enjoy Christmas events on the church grounds at St Mary’s Church, Acton on Monks Lane. 

The stars along the route each included a biblical message.

In the churchyard there was an outdoor Nativity scene, several dozen stars, and numerous drawings of stars. A handmade garland was hung on each church door. The Almshouses were decorated with lights and garlands. 

The Nativity scene featured a stable with Mary and Joseph, the Christ child in a manger, the Three Wise Men, a donkey, a chicken, four shepherds and five sheep. The Nativity scene was constructed by Deana Emerton and her grandson Will Emerton of Emerton Roofing, Nantwich. Deana made the Three Wise Men with wire and mesh beards in a contemporary design and made the shepherds five sheep with twigs and also in a contemporary design. Will made the stable with wood and added a thatched roof.

The stars were positioned on support posts and hanging from a tree and were made by parishioners from the Church.

The themed stars were drawn and written by children at the nearby Acton CE Primary Academy on Chester Road. The themes were: Reception (Stars with a drawing of a family member who makes them smile!), Year 1 (Stars with positive affirmations), Year 2 (Rainbow Stars celebrating our keyworkers), Year 3 (Sharing with Church visitors a happy place that makes them smile), Year 4 (Stars illustrated with drawings of acts of kindness that can spread joy!), Year 5 (Shooting Stars: a person who we find inspirational and why), Year 6 (Hopes and Dreams for 2021)

The garlands on each church door were put together by Deana Emerton, Linda Jones, Liz Ford, and Jill Wright.

The Almshouses decorations were made by Joyce Percival.

Santa Claus was on hand to wave off visitors.

The car park and route were stewarded by volunteers from St Mary’s Church, Acton.

There was also a socially distanced Christmas Carols special event inside the Church in the evening.

Donations to St Mary’s Church, Acton could be made in collection bins on the day of the walk, through the letterbox by the south porch at the Church or via the Church website

A representative from St Mary’s Church, Acton said: “We must thank Joyce Percival and her team for staging such an imaginative outdoor event. The theme captured the true meaning of Christmas – and was an ingenious way of keeping participants safe during these challenging times.”