Kensal Green church recreates World War Two crib as a tribute to peace this Christmas

A 1939 crib is recreated at St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green. Picture: Fr David Ackerman

A 1939 crib is recreated at St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green. Picture: Fr David Ackerman - Credit: Archant

A Kensal Green vicar is planning a unique Christmas tribute to peace by recreating a crib used the year World War Two broke out.

A picture of a 1939 crib at St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green a year before the church was bombed during World War T...

A picture of a 1939 crib at St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green a year before the church was bombed during World War Two. Picture: Fr David Ackerman - Credit: Archant

St John’s the Evangelist Church is recreating the crib from photographs taken in 1939 before the building in Kilburn Lane was bombed in November 1940.

For the first time the Christmas tree will be placed outside with the crib placed inside.

“Christmas Day last year was the day we first heard our new bells and who would have imagined this awful year?” Fr David Ackerman, vicar, said. “And who would have imagined the sort of country we would become with a government telling us who can come into our homes on Christmas Day?

“People are not banned from visiting a crib, not yet at least” he added.

St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green. Picture: Fr David Ackerman

St John the Evangelist Church Kensal Green. Picture: Fr David Ackerman - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“The church was bombed in November 1940 and one letter we have is from a mother whose letter to Fr Tipper, the then Vicar, says ‘my daughter asked me what happened to the crib’. It survived. Christmas 1940 would have been memorable as services took place as usual with most of the glass blown out and a hole in the roof”.

The church recently raised more than £250 for the Royal British Legion and in August unveiled a tribute to the Windrush Generation with a commemorative sundial.

There will be “Gift of Faith” resources at the crib such as buying a parcel or a meal for vulnerable families with all proceeds going to support of Aid to the Church in Need.

Most Read

Fr Ackerman’s book, Nicolas and the Six Bells, written during lockdown to mark St John’s the Evangelist Church’s 175th anniversary, has raised more than £1,500 for the charity.

Fr David added: “I hope that visitors to the crib will reflect on those who contributed to the peace and freedoms we enjoy.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus