Bristol

Chipping Sodbury church finds nativity camel in time

A camel
Image caption St John's Church in Chipping Sodbury found its camel, like this one, after an appeal

A Bristol church is rejoicing after finding a late replacement camel for its "living" nativity scene.

St John's Church, Chipping Sodbury, had secured an animal but its owner was taken ill and could not take part.

After an appeal for help on the BBC, Derbyshire-based The Animal Company stepped in to provide a beast.

Mark Lloyd, from the Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, said he was "absolutely delighted" the nativity could go ahead on 2 December as planned.

"They [The Animal Company] very kindly agreed to substantially reduce their fee and the chamber have agreed to increase their funding by a couple of hundred to ensure that we fulfil our promise," Mr Lloyd added.

Local donkeys

"We are all looking forward to a fantastic evening and to seeing the look on the faces of the children and residents when they see an exotic animal pass by.

"It is such a relief as the church have been working so hard on their crib festival."

Sodbury Chamber of Commerce had agreed to source and fund the camel, plus associated nativity crib scene animals.

The chamber has been sourcing the other animals, including donkeys, from other local sources since the camel and its owner withdrew from the event.

"The Animal Company have confirmed that the camel is comfortable working with other animals and should be happy to work alongside the donkeys - we have decided not to risk the other animals just in case!

"The donkeys are well versed in attending the local church and have been involved in other processions this year."

The Animal Company provides animals for TV and film, including snakes, spiders, reindeer, dogs, and ponies.

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