Festival of the Donkey draws in crowds at Cirencester Parish Church
DONKEYS didn’t put a hoof out of line when they took centre stage in an Easter service with a difference.
Over 200 people came to Cirencester Parish Church on March 20 to take part in the town’s first Festival of the Donkey.
Paper palm trees in hand, children from schools across Cirencester joined the colourful performance following the events of Jesus’ life with a little help from an animal cast.
Canon Andrew Bowden, who lead the service, said despite the congregation involving live donkeys and sheep it had gone extremely well.
He said: “It was tremendous to see so many people join us in the run up to Palm Sunday.
“We have held the service at Gloucester Cathedral but we wanted to do it here and have been working on the idea since November.”
Pupils from Powell’s, Watermoor and Paternoster schools in Cirencester and Coln House school in Fairford took to the stage as wise men, shepherds and angels.
Donkeys from Bristol and Hereford played a crucial role in carrying the young cast across Nazareth to see whether there was room at the inn.
Isabella Pinchin, a year two pupil at Watermoor School, said: “I enjoyed it and I liked going round and looking at the donkeys.”
The Festival of the Donkey is based on an ancient French tradition that marks the significance of the donkey at Easter time.
Canon Leonard Doolan said: “It was a wonderful service with a lot of community involvement and was at times very moving.”
He added: “The only hiccup was our chicken wouldn’t come out of her basket, it turns out it was because she was laying an egg.”