People arrive in droves and are greeted by the sound of the São Brás Salvation Army band who are playing Christmas carols. Everyone is offered a warm drink as they wait around fire pits until they are divided up into groups of between 10-15 people in either English or Portuguese.
From there, guides all dressed in costumes lead the visitors up the hill through the torchlit winding paths of the church Garden to where menacing Roman soldiers are guarding the entrance to the village. At the gates, one of Cesar Augustus’ tax officials is waiting to take the census and find out if anybody has anything to declare and what they plan to sell in the village market.
From there the weary travellers are led into the village courtyard in search of a place to stay the night. They find an Inn, but a sign on the door says no room! They are encouraged to knock on the door and a very grumpy innkeeper comes out and chases them away.
The journey proceeds through a series of interactive dramas from Herod’s palace, the shepherds minding their sheep out in the fields, the angelic hosts, the wise men in their Bedouin tent, and finally to a life-size stable where Mary and Joseph tell the story of how they came to give birth to their son in this lowly manger.
We also transform our marquee at the top of the hill into a Christmas market where people can buy food and bric-a-brac and all proceeds are divided between the São Brás Salvation Army and our missionary Jill Kinsey in support of her shepherd boy project in Lesotho, Africa.
Sadly over the past two years, due to Covid, we were unable to hold the event and are really looking forward to being able to put it on again this year and rekindle the important opportunity this event gives us to connect with our local community. We would love to extend a very warm welcome to everyone. This year we will be running the event on the 2nd, 3rd December between 7-10pm and on 4th of December from 4-7pm, rounding off the evening with candlelight Christmas carol service inside the main church building.
Address: Estrada da Estação, Rua varzia da Mao, Vale Judeu 8100-300 or on Google maps at https://maps.app.goo.gl/tQ8sRhsaVuLGbbmz6?g_st=ic.
We hope you can come and experience the real meaning of Christmas.