Holy Hutch

The following has been submitted to Ecclesiastical, the insurance company for Holy Cross, as a competition entry. The brief was to write, in no more than 250 words, a Good News story about our church demonstrating creativity, effectiveness and inspiration. Our story could have been about many things that have been creative, effective and inspirational throughout the pandemic. The hutch was properly entitled Holy Cross Hutch but the cross is a cross symbol and so the Holy Hutch was named

Woodingdean's Holy Hutch

How on earth could we celebrate the Advent and Christmas season with our community when opportunities for worship were so restricted?

We retrieved a derelict and unwanted rabbit hutch from a neighbour's front garden, repaired and weather proofed it, installed rechargeable lighting and placed it under the church lych gate. This is not a key entrance to the church but is right on a main road and passed by most of the primary school children on their way to school. A kind parishioner had made small felt, fabric and wool nativity figures, made to fit over a part of a loo roll cardboard tube – we had struggled to know quite how to use them. Suddenly, they were absolutely perfect! Early each morning, a different scene from the Nativity story was arranged in front of a very basic backdrop and a short part of the story written on a blackboard. Each evening, the scene was lit by the lights, which lasted the night.

Children watched each day to see what would happen next. Parents and older siblings read out the sentence to younger children. The rain fell, the wind blew and Covid19 wreaked havoc in people's lives, but the Good News of Jesus's birth reached adults and children, many of whom may never have come into a church to hear it.

Currently, the hutch holds children's books, donated by passers-by, which they are free to take and read.

What will we use it for next?