Advent Day 17: Special visitors join a Nativity Sunday Service in the Borders

The Nativity will be brought alive this year with a little help from a special pair of donkeys in the Borders.

A donkey wearing a Santa hat
Two donkeys, Smokey and Blue, will be featuring in the service on Sunday 22 December at Kelso Old Parish Church.

Smokey and Blue will be joining the congregation for the Nativity Sunday Service at Kelso Old Parish Church.

Rev Sandy Young, the minister of Kelso Old and Sprouston Parish Church, explained that "Nativity Sunday allows us to have fun together as a church family - we can relax and enjoy ourselves with a precious story at the centre of it."

Describing the two donkeys as "quiet and social indoors" he says they will be featuring in the service on Sunday 22 December.

They have a track record of good behaviour and have taken part in several events over the last year at the church.

Donkeys at a Nativity service
Smokey and Blue at last year's Nativity service
Two donkeys in their stable
Smokey and Blue in their stable

Local to the area, the hardworking duo are ambassadors for The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, a charity helping subsistence farmers and others who use working animals in The Gambia, to look after the health and welfare of their animals.

As well as caring for the working animals, helping to keep them healthy and at work is often crucial to the welfare of the owners' families.

Kelso Old Parish Church is an unusual 18th-century building due to its octagonal shape, which will provide a beautiful backdrop for the service.

A congregation has existed there for hundreds of years and before the current church was build they worshipped in the ruins of Kelso Abbey.

All are welcome to join the congregation for the Nativity Service, which takes place on Sunday 22 December and starts at 11am.

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