Essex

Essex church hides 1,000 baby Jesus rocks 'to bring joy'

Earls Hall Baptist Church rock Image copyright Earls Hall Baptist Church
Image caption Earls Hall Baptist Church have hidden the rocks, which are pebble-sized, in their local area in Westcliff

A Baptist church has hidden 1,000 rocks painted with an image of the baby Jesus to "bring a little bit of joy" to their local community.

Earls Hall Baptist Church in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, wants finders to post a picture of them on social media.

The church's congregation has hidden them around local schools and the nearby Priory Park.

Katie Stanton from the church said: "Lots of care has been taken over each rock."

As well as the image of the baby Jesus the rocks, which are a couple of inches long, have the church's website address painted on the reverse.

Image copyright Earls Hall Baptist Church
Image caption The rocks have been varnished so they are protected from bad whether

Ms Stanton, the church's children and families worker, said "people of all ages" had painted the rocks and "everyone has done their own little take" on Jesus.

"I hope people will take them home and just think about Jesus at this time of year," she said.

"I hope they'll all be found and bring a little bit of joy this Christmas to everyone that finds one."

The church said it hoped people would use them as decorations and it would became an annual event.

Image copyright Earls Hall Baptist Church
Image caption People that find the rocks have also been invited to church service later in December

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