COVID-19 restrictions may have forced the cancellation of Stourport’s annual Three Kings Parade and Christmas Lights switch on but children from a local primary school staged their own version of the popular celebration.

Pupils at St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School, who prepare the kings, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, each year for the town event, held their own parade on Tuesday (Dec 1), marking the start of Advent, before switching on festive lights in their classrooms.

Teacher and senior leader Laura Graham was determined the cancellation was not going to dampen their festive fun and set about organising the parade around the new mile-a-day track in the grounds of the Areley Kings school.

Headteacher Ian James said: “St Bart’s has been custodian of the three kings for several years and our children with teacher Helen Watkins re-designed and constructed new models just two years ago to replace the ageing versions, so we have a very special affinity for them and what they signify, the start of Christmastime.”

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The parade coincided with a donation of £557 from Messy Church’s Worship Wednesday Team which is unable to run under the current restrictions and chose to close their bank account and donate their funds.

Mr James added: “In addition to supporting with many of our Worship Group activities in school including Advent and nativity events, a large proportion of this very generous gift will go towards a project with Hen House Farm, which will include us nurturing 20 eggs in an incubator and watching them hatch in time for Easter, as part of our science curriculum and church events.”

The Messy Church, designed to encourage creativity, celebration and hospitality through God, has also donated £557 to Wilden All Saints CE Primary School, which along with St Bartholomew’s, is a member of the Severn Academies Educational Trust family of schools.