Rudgwick Advent calendar brings community together

Kings Head Pub's turn at Rudgwick Advent Calendar (submitted). SUS-141215-145053001

Kings Head Pub's turn at Rudgwick Advent Calendar (submitted). SUS-141215-145053001

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A communal Advent calendar has brought the village of Rudgwick together to celebrate the countdown to Christmas.

Schools, clubs, church groups and businesses have taken turns at creating an Advent display inside a horse box at the telephone exchange car park in Church Street each night in December.

The displays, based on carols and popular Christmas songs, are on show from 5.30-6.30pm up until December 24. Around 200 volunteers have taken part in the project, from help with stewarding and graphic design, to school children and church groups.

50 to 100 people of all generations have gathered around the horse box to enjoy the festive fun, and some have even brought mulled wine and mince pies to share.

“There’s a great buzz”, says Liz Eden, lay minister of Rudgwick’s Holy Trinity Church, who got the idea from the Beach Hut Advent Calendar in Hove.

“It’s good old fashioned fun. People have really loved the concept and want to be involved.”

Displays so far have been wide ranging, from ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ by Rudgwick Pre-School to ‘No Room at the Inn’ by The Kings Head Pub. Holy Trinity Church, as hosts to the programme, have also presented a number of carols. Gifts, interactive activities and beautifully crafted scenes have been used to illustrate the chosen songs, as well as carol singing.

Contributions of timber, printing facilities and the horse box itself have been lent by businesses and individuals in West Sussex to create the calendar.

Rev Martin King, vicar at Holy Trinity, said: “It’s been wonderful to see Rudgwick coming together to re-tell the Christmas story in such creative ways. Everyone loves the old carols, and the advent calendar is bringing their message to life in a unique and fresh way for 2014.”

Liz described being blown away by the response to the project, and is open to repeating it next year. She explained: “I’ve had a wonderful time and I’ve got in contact with so many people in the community.”

A full programme of the upcoming advent calendar displays can be found on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Rudgwickadventcalendar.

No car parking spaces are available at the exchange.