'Tears of joy' as children and care home put on Christmas nativity in Plymouth

  • Watch Claire Manning's report

Children from a primary school in Plymouth brought 'tears of joy' to a care home in the city with their performance of the nativity story.

It has been three years since Fletewood School and Bethany Christian Home could perform the nativity together because of the pandemic and the pupils wore masks to add a level of protection against Covid.

It is the first time in three years that the schoolchildren have performed the nativity at Bethany Christian Home. Credit: ITV West Country

Residents of the care home helped narrate the traditional story while the children acted it out.

Mary Stephenson said, "It is lovely to know that children are learning about bible stories and acting them out and really getting into the true story of Christmas because it is so commercial these days that some people forget what it is really about."

Former teacher Anthony Russell, who narrated part of the nativity, said he found it deeply emotional.

He said: "I was deeply moved because I used to do this sort of thing before I retired, I was a choir master and I was preparing my choir for the service at the end of term and they weren't dressed up like this because they were a choir but I found it overpowering.

"I was in tears much of the time."

'Mary and Joseph' still had to wear faceshields to avoid the spread of Covid. Credit: ITV West Country

For the children, it was probably more a case of nerves:

Reporter: "Were you nervous today?"

Minnie (Angel Gabriel): "Yes, really nervous. When we got outside I was almost crying I was so scared."

Reporter: "Your nerves didn't show at all though how did you control them?"

Minnie: "Because all I thought was, 'I don't want to ruin this. I want this play to make them feel really nice and we don't want to ruin it just by our nerves'."

'The Three Kings' wait to play their part in the special nativity. Credit: ITV West Country

In contrast, the residents were delighted. Beryl even said she shed a few tears. "My great grandchild yesterday she was the innkeeper and I was unable to get to it so - it was so nice to see it today."

"We miss our own grandchildren, I mean we've all got great grandchildren but we can't get to see them so this is a bonus, it makes up for that."