Bethlehem came to Failsworth on the first weekend of advent (26th November) when a Salvation Army corps (church) put on an interactive performance of the Nativity. At the event, Brunch at Bethlehem, doors had ‘no vacancy’ signs and the building was dressed to make it feel like Bethlehem. More than 25 children, from the ages of one to 14 chose a character from the nativity to dress up as. Each scene of the story took place in a different part of the corps building to give a sense of the nativity journey. The children were able to play instruments for ‘A Starry Night’ and shared brunch together when they were able to ask questions about the story. Lieutenant Victoria Rowney, Church Leader at Failsworth Salvation Army, said: “Brunch at Bethlehem is a great opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the start of advent together. The interactive nature of the event means the children truly engage and ask questions. “Some of the key parts were decided on the day – everyone pitched in to make the event truly joyful. The spontaneous nature of it really helped the children to engage and understand the story in a way they may not at other more traditional performances. It isn’t a polished Nativity performance, after all, no one at the first Nativity had a script either.” This was the eighth year Brunch at Bethlehem has run at Failsworth Corps. A Grandma of one of the children who attends the corps busy weekly programme, drove all the way from Blackpool to attend the event. One of the mother’s whose children took part, said: “For us, Brunch at Bethlehem means Christmas has truly begun – it’s wonderful and it’s great that the community joins together.” The corps runs a programme for the community which includes two after school clubs and a nursery as well as other activities for young children and families.