The Rector of St Canice’s Church in Eglinton got robed for a special service, on Friday morning (December 2, 2022), but not in his usual garb. Rev Canon Paul Hoey, and Rector’s Churchwarden Elaine Way, dressed as Mary and Joseph for the launch of the parish’s three-day Nativity Festival. And they were joined by a special guest, Penelope the donkey, who was brought to St Canice’s by local parishioner Alison Leighton.

Parishioners and the wider community can call into the church over the three days of the event to see dozens of nativity scenes which have been created by local people. Visitors will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite depiction of the nativity.

The Festival began with an opening service at 10am on Friday morning, during which the choir of Eglinton Primary School performed a number of Christmas favourites. The Rector wore a Christmas jumper for the occasion.

Donations from the festival will be shared with two charities, ‘Jennifer’s Journey’ and the Simon Community, and some will also go towards the proposed new parish centre. St Canice’s has a number of other activities planned for the Advent season, as well, including the Altnagelvin Hospital Choir Carol Service, which will take place in the church on Tuesday 6th December at 7pm.