Deacon Al Henry’s sent us this report about a festival held in Middleton.
The fourth annual St. Nicholas Festival got off with a bang this year with the arrival of St. Nicholas played by The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds the Revd. John Packer.
Near to 60 children together with their families from Middleton and across the city attended the festival at Middleton Methodist Church Hall last Saturday afternoon. At the beginning of the afternoon each child received a small gifts from St. Nicholas (the real Santa Claus, Patron Saint of Children).
St Nicholas shared stories about his work in helping people. One of the stories was about a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and, probably, in the absence of any other potential employment, would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man’s plight, Nicholas decided to help him.
However, being too modest (or too shy) to help the man in public, (or knowing the man too proud to accept charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three gold coins through the chimney which fell into the stocking which were being dried near the fire.
The remainder of the afternoon was taken up in crafts activities, treats, and songs ending with a Christingle a service of light. The afternoon was organized and hosted by Al & Nathalie Henry.