News Release

Coffs Harbour Branch Nativity Display “Lights the Community”


On the weekend of 14-16 December, the Coffs Harbour Branch (congregation), of the Coffs Harbour District (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held their tenth annual ‘Nativities Display.’

Since its inception in 2009, the display has grown from approximately 50 nativity settings to more than 230 beautiful settings and paintings that were displayed this year. Linda Alfred, who heads up the organising committee expressed,”This beautiful event is a wonderful opportunity to show the community of Coffs Harbour the love that we have for the Saviour, and that we truly are Christian. I love the Spirit that permeates the display, and get excited about sharing with our visitors and seeing their reactions. It is wonderful to hear their comments, and hear them say that they will be back next year with their friends and family!”

The display was open to the public all day Friday, 14 December, Saturday evening, 15 December and from 3 PM into the evening on Sunday, 16 December 2018. More than 100 people attended and viewed the display. Many wonderful comments were heard and were also recorded in the visitor’s book.

This Nativity Display event began as the result of the efforts of Virginia Harding, a Canadian member of the Church who moved into the Coffs Habour branch some ten years ago. Virginia had seen such an event held in her home country, and persuaded other Church members to join her in starting it in Coffs Habour. Virgina, who has since moved from the area last month, expressed, "I have loved the fact that people are growing in the love of buying more nativities to share with everyone. It gives a warm feeling to those who get to see it each year and want to come back the next year. I feel it keeps people connected to Jesus at Christmas and not get so caught up in Santa, but remembering that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.”  Although a small branch, the Coffs Harbour members anticipate this event each year with excitement. Much planning goes into making sure that the display looks beautiful, and that word gets out to the public and to Church members alike. 

Due to this being the tenth annual display, the local Coffs Harbour Mayor, Denise Knight, was invited to attend a special opening event on Thursday. At that event, a short introduction and history of the Nativity Display event was given. Information about the Church was given by Brad Alfred, president of the Coffs Habour District of the Church. President Alfred commented, ”The true Spirit of Christmas is felt abundantly during the assembling, presentation and even the dismantling of the over 230 nativity settings. It is always a spiritually uplifting experience to share this special Christmas Spirit with the local community of Coffs Harbour.” Mayor Knight responded by commenting that the display was beautiful and that it was a wonderful experience being able to attend.  

After cutting the red ribbon, Mayor Knight viewed the display, and was presented with a copy of the Book of Mormon and the DVD Joy to the World.

Plans are already underway for the event in December 2019.

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