British Asian Christian Association, created a crowd fund for a set of glowing Nativity silhouettes as part of a campaign to reintroduce a Nativity in Ilford, after a two year absence. Read more (here).
We had previously installed a set of nativity figurines to end a previous 16 year absence of a Nativity in Ilford. Rather disturbingly, these were smashed and Jesus was left beheaded on the second year of our installation in 2018. Read more (here)
Though we did not reach our crowd fund total we received enough to transform our project to allow for a smaller set of Nativity silhouettes, we also purchased a Merry Christmas light sign, some lights for the one tree in the forecourt of Ilford High Road Baptist Church (not shown in image), and a waterproof extension lead.
Several volunteers from the church helped us install the lights and we would like to thank Marcus, Simon and Mila for their help.
For days after the installation on 24th December 2021 we have seen traffic slow down around the corner of the church as drivers and passengers, stare at our eye-catching nativity. We believe this draws positive attention to the church that allowed us to work on this project.
On the first day traffic slowed so significantly it did cause some congestion but not enough to be considered dangerous. Jesus still is and always will be the centre of it all!
We were hampered by the type of plug used on Christmas lights and their incompatibility with external waterproof extension leads. This prohibited our original design which would have utilised our blue and white icicle lights along the church railings and our Merry Christmas sign on the same tree as the runner lights (which are not in image), replicating to some extent what we did in Chigwell last year (click here). The church is due a reconstruction of their church forecourt paved area and this may allow for some external sockets in the right area, for a more impressive display next year.
We would like to thank all our donors for making this project happen, it was great to see donations from Australia, the US and Canada as well as across England and locally towards this project. We believe the idea of a nativity revived the passion of many Christians across the globe and the emails received reflect that. One of the aims of the project is to see other similar projects encouraged across the UK and if our success triggers a similar project anywhere else in the world, we would love to hear from you.
Hannah Chowdhry, coordinator for the project, said:
“The final result was extremely appealing and visible.
“It was great to see traffic slow down around the corner of the church by people impressed with Ilford’s latest nativity.
“We also saw a number of people taking images.
“I am really glad this project was a success as it has been a desire of mine to brig a nativity back to Ilford since the last one was smashed.
“It just feels amazing to be able to see Jesus is well established in Ilford.
“That is with or without our nativity as local churches continue to be centres of worship and praise.”
Christianity is still the largest faith group in Redbridge but irrespective of that, a 2017 poll by the Ilford Recorder indicated that over 85% of those polled which included people from all faiths wanted a return of a nativity. We have fulfilled that desire thus year in a big way. Moreover, with your help we aim to expand this nativity project next year and hope to complete the set of Nativity silhouettes.
In the meanwhile if you want to support our group for the range of work we do in our ambition to advance Christ’s Kingdom please donate by clicking (here).