Feature

LOSING THEIR RELIGION

No, not REM. School nativity plays. A new poll suggests that under pressure to modernise, nativity plays are losing their religion as schools take artistic licence with the traditional story of Jesus’ birth. About 2000 parents have expressed concern that Christmas traditions are being pushed aside as drunken spacemen, aliens, recycling bins, punk fairies, Elvis Presley, footballers and even a lobster have all started to appear in the nativity story. In some cases, the nativity has given way completely to winter celebrations, with traditional carols replaced by themed songs.

Political correctness? Collective guilt about materialist cravings? The wish to avoid specific reference to a Christian festival or our Christian heritage? Whatever the reason, two thirds of parents who responded to a Netmums online survey said that they would like their child’s school to have a trad nativity,  while 13% of parents plan to share the Christmas story at home.

‘This study shows many parents who aren’t religious look to the nativity as a comforting part of the Christmas celebrations and want their school to embrace and celebrate it,’ said Netmums’ Siobhan Freegard.

If you plan to share the nativity story with your child this Christmas, you might like to download The Nativity, a free app that tells the Bible story simply but beautifully. And there isn’t a punk fairy in sight.