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The 30th presentation of The Living Manger, the live re-enactment of the story of Christ’s birth, took place under clear skies Dec. 16 at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Sussex Corner.

Before the 5 p.m. performance, animal handlers were busy rehearsing with their charges, a couple of donkeys not so sure about walking up a wooden ramp to the creche. 

There was plenty of excited chatter as families arrived and took a seat on a hay bale. Inside, angels flitted about excitedly among the din of performers rehearsing their lines and walkie-talkies going off.

Then the music began, the choir took their places, and the performance was underway. The Rev. Canon Allen Tapley greeted everyone, noting he’d been rector for more than 20 years and The Living Manger was already well established when he arrived.

“The idea of the ministry at the time came from the Rev. Canon Malcolm Berry and his wife, Holly,” he said, adding that Malcolm had recently died. “We thought it appropriate to dedicate this first performance to Malcolm.”

An offering was collected, with all proceeds going to the Sussex Sharing Club’s food program. A second performance was held at 6:30 with refreshments served afterwards. Both performances were well attended. 

The Cast and Crew
Jesus (5 p.m.) – Liam Haslett
Mary (5 p.m.) - Courtney McLeod
Joseph (5 p.m.) – Billy Haslett
Jesus (6:30 p.m.) – Wilder Decker
Mary (6;30 p.m.) – Amber Decker
Joseph (6:30 p.m.) – Mitchell Carhart
Emperor – Kevin Kyle
Foot soldiers – Michael Dunfield, Brody Goddard, Brandon Seeley
Innkeeper – Paul Kilpatrick
Gabriel – Danny MacMillan
Shepherds – Albert Scott, Mitchell Carhart, Nathan Buchanan, Alex Hornbrook, Carol Arnold, Logan Kyle
Wisemen – Andy Tabor, Robin Turner, Rick Thibault
Angels – Sunday school members and friends
Narrator – Daryl Caines
Cast directors – Roberta Kilpatrick and Sandra Kyle
Music director – Tammy Morris
Make-up – Rhonda Reicker
Animal handlers – Mark Anderson, Albert (Sonny) Scott, Joel McGibbon, Joellen Toomey & Kegan
Carpenters – Blair Marks & team and Sussex Men’s AAA high school hockey team
Sound and lighting – Gary Morris
Choir –  Combined Parishes Choir & friends
Organizing chairs – Debbie & Blair Marks

1.  Animal handlers Sonny Scott and Alex Hornbrook rehearse with Lloyd and Sharon, who were anxious about walking on the wooden ramp. 
2.  Courtney McLeod (Mary), Billy Haslett (Joseph) and Liam Haslett (Jesus) during The Living Manger in Sussex Corner Dec. 16. 
3.  The shepherds witness the heavenly host of angels proclaiming the birth of the Messiah.
4.  The Rev. Canon Allen Tapley chats with shepherd Logan Kyle, 13, who would soon lead Harold the sheep to see the baby Jesus.

McKnight photos

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