Hundreds of people followed a donkey through the town for Great Dunmow's Live Nativity, organised by St Mary's Church.

Town crier Jody Huizar, accompanied by a real-life donkey, led the procession from the town square to the church.

Dunmow Broadcast: Town crier Jody Huizar and a live donkey led the processionTown crier Jody Huizar and a live donkey led the procession (Image: St Mary's Church)

Pupils from local primary schools, including Dunmow St Mary's, Dunmow Primary and Helena Romanes, led the crowd singing popular carols and helped retell the Christmas story.

Inside St Mary's Church, which was decorated for the occasion, visitors enjoyed craft activities and mulled wine.

Reverend Tom Warmington, the vicar at St Mary's Church, said: "Every year hundreds of people start their Christmas countdown with our Live Nativity.

Dunmow Broadcast: The Live Nativity at St Mary's Church, Great DunmowThe Live Nativity at St Mary's Church, Great Dunmow (Image: St Mary's Church)

"As we all gathered in a cold car park against our makeshift stable, we remembered that 2,000 years ago on another dark night a baby was born.

"Jesus was described as the 'light of the world' and he told his followers that they too were filled with light.

"There is nothing our world needs more than people filled with light."

Dunmow Broadcast: The Live Nativity concluded at St Mary's ChurchThe Live Nativity concluded at St Mary's Church (Image: St Mary's Church)

Other Christmas events coming up at St Mary's Church include Holy Communion, with Kids' Church, which takes place from 10.30am to 11.30am on Sunday, December 17.

Dunmow's official carol service - described as a 'traditional nine lessons and carols service' - will be held at St Mary's Church at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 21.

There will be familiar carols, with attendees invited to sing along, readings and free mulled wine and mince pies.

Dunmow Christingle Service will take place on Christmas Eve from 4pm to 5pm.


A Christingle is a symbolic object made during Advent, with an orange representing the world, a candle pushed into the orange representing Jesus as the 'light of the world', a red ribbon symbolising the blood of Christ and dried fruits or sweets representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons.

Holy Communion will  take place on Christmas Eve from 9am to 9.45am, while Midnight Holy Communion will be held at the church from 11.30pm on Christmas Eve to 12.30am on Christmas Day.

Also on Christmas Day, there will be Holy Communion and Family Communion from 10am to 10.45am.