See a live crib at St Peter & Paul’s, Ilford

Bethlehem will come to Ilford High Road this Christmas. Ss Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church had some difficulty trying to source sheep and cattle for a live crib until Cribb Funeral Directors from Canning Town came to the rescue with their farm animals. Live cribs (“Presepe Vivente” in Italian) are a tradition going back to 1223 when St Francis of Assisi re-enacted the Christmas story with villagers and animals in Greccio, central Italy. The forecourt of Ss Peter & Paul is a little different to the Lazio-Umbrian countryside but we hope that the atmosphere will be as dramatic and equally prayerful. The Christmas story will be enacted live, with participative carol singing, at 4 pm on Saturday 22 December and streamed live via the parish website: and