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'Blessing of the Crib' ceremony and festive light switch-on

HUNDREDS of residents flocked to Blaenavon tonight as part of the town’s big festive light switch-on.

An estimated 200 people attended the ‘Blessing of the Crib’ ceremony and festive light switch-on which took place in Bethlehem Court, Broad Street.

Rev. Jill Stephen of Bethlehem Chapel and Pastor David Miller of Horeb Chapel performed the service, which involved a nativity tableau provided by the council of churches.

Youngsters also got the chance to meet real donkeys ‘Spud’ and ‘Dotty’ provided by Wales’ Vision of Hope centre near Abergavenny.

From music provided by Blaenavon Town Band to the singing of carols from ‘Away In a Manger’ to ‘Silent Night’ the event was filled with song and festive cheer.

The ‘blessing of the crib ceremony’ was performed by 'Secretary of Blaenavon Churches Working Together', Anthony Ayres and the Blaenavon Cubs group also attended, wearing nativity themed masks.

On the night, the mayor of Blaenavon, Cllr Alan Jones and mayor of Torfaen, Cllr Veronica Crick read ‘Christmas Greetings’ to the crowds and later turned on the town’s Christmas tree and festive lighting.

Other dignitaries also attended, including Chairman of Pontypool Community Council, Cllr Jon Horlor, and representatives from Cwmbran and Henllys Community Councils.

Photographer Adrian.J. Smith attended the event and has taken photographs of the festive tradition since 2009.

“Children were happy and singing and the atmosphere was so warm and cheerful,” he said.

"It was the nicest ceremony we have had yet."

Posted on: Thursday 1st December 2016