Cathedral hosts nativity bonanza

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Liverpool Cathedral shop assitant with some of the Nativity sets ©Facebook-Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral shop assistant with some of the Nativity sets © Facebook/Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral shop has brought together more than 30 nativity sets from around the world for the first time.

It is the largest collection of nativities in the city as the cathedral shop has gathered a range of Fair Trade, traditional and children’s nativities of diverse styles, shapes and sizes, reflecting the cultures and Christmas traditions of the countries in which they were made.

Some nativities have come from places such as Africa, India, Sri Lanka and even Bethlehem. The nativities, which are display until January, are made from a variety of materials such as pottery, bean bags, colour-in, newspaper and reclaimed wood.

Fair Trade nativities include an enamelled brass set from northern India, terracotta figures from Bangladesh, a bean bag nativity from the Philippines and a chunky, brightly-painted children’s wooden nativity set from Sri Lanka.

Gemma Malyk, stock supervisor at the Cathedral Shop, says that the collection is in response to growing customer demand throughout the year. She said: “As a Christian retailers, we always have at least one or two nativity sets available year round, and they had been selling out.”

Liverpool Cathedral in the snow © Facebook/Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral in the snow © Facebook/Liverpool Cathedral

The cathedral’s choice of the nativity sets is a very personal thing, Gemma said: “The experience can make a really memorable family experience. It is about finding the right nativity for you, and we hope that our range gives people that choice. ”

The cathedral shop is also displaying the stories behind each of the Fair Trade nativities, allowing people to find out where or how their set was made and which communities the profit will benefit.

Gemma said: “Christmas is about spreading ‘joy to the world’ as the popular carol tells us; the Fair Trade nativities are a way of doing that and connecting directly with the makers through the Christmas story, no matter where they are in the world.”

Liverpool Cathedral Shop was voted Tourism Retailer of the Year 2012, by the Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards.

About Vanessa Gainford, JMU Journalism