Aberdeen schoolchildren celebrated the true spirit of Christmas yesterday at a blessing service for the nativity crib.
Hundreds of primary pupils joined church leaders and local councillors for the unveiling of the city’s traditional nativity scene in the grounds of St Nicholas Kirk.
The life-size Italian-made set, featuring Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the three wise men and two shepherds, is on display in a specially-constructed shed in the kirkyard, where it can be seen from Union Street.
Pupils from Holy Family RC School, Robert Gordon’s College Junior School, St Joseph’s RC School and St Peter’s RC School sang carols including It Was On A Starry Night and Oh Come, All Ye Faithful.
Councillor Martin Greig said: “It is such a wonderful experience to meet here at St Nicholas Kirk right here in the heart of the city.
“I think the nativity scene is really looking splendid.
“It has also been really wonderful to hear the lovely singing.
“The nativity story tells us about a light coming into the world so let us remember that while the Christmas lights around us are all very sparkly and nice, it is this light that shines the brightest.”
He added: “I hope that many people will visit the scene to remember the peace and joy at the heart of Christmas.”
Councillor Jennifer Stewart said “it warmed her heart” to see how the nativity service had grown from such small beginnings.
She added: “It is hard times in Aberdeen at the moment but the nativity is a symbol of hope.
“It is nice for people who are out shopping to be able to take a moment from the hustle and bustle and stop in and see it. It is a bit of peace.”