Three camels help Leigh Park church start Christmas celebrations

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THREE camels walking the high street is not your usual sight but a church wanted to kick off its Christmas celebrations in style. 

The Leigh Park and Warren Park Starlight Festival from St Francis’ Church and St Clare’s Church featured performances from Fit ‘n’ Funkey dance group, AZIZA Egyptian Dance Group and Leigh Park Community Singers as well as a number of charities, groups and organisations which set up stalls to chat to the community. 

Camels lead procession through Leigh Park

Camels lead procession through Leigh Park

Families followed the camels from St Francis’ Church in Riders Lane to Greywell Shopping Centre to meet Santa at his grotto.

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Vicar Jonathan Jeffrey told The News: ‘Our community is fantastic and we like to do something a little bit different to wow them.

‘We have had 17 stalls including Park Community School who spoke to people about providing meals in the school holidays and we have had Active Community Networks chatting to people about their youth activities.

Charlie Lawrence from Foodbank PO9 and Freebank PO9 was trying to raise awareness of the groups.

She said: ‘There really is no community like Leigh Park and everyone helps each other out.

‘We are supporting 120 families this year but we do need some more donations of men’s and women’s gifts.

‘It is important that people know about us as we can be there to give advice and support whether that be about benefits or food or clothes.’

The group is hosting ‘The Big Wrap’ on Saturday December 21 from 10am at St Francis’ Church to put together Christmas gifts and parcels for the community. 

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Representatives from Active Community Networks gave youngsters the chance to try out some boxing and tell them more about the activities in the area.

Leigh Park project coordinator Aysha Coker said: ‘Leigh Park has historically been a deprived area so we want to get kids off the streets and give them places to go.

‘We offer work experience and training so it is great to be supported by the church and speak to the young people who have come along today.’