Most nativity plays usually feature the local Sunday school, but this year a Church of Scotland minister and a Roman Catholic priest have enlisted the help of police officers, fire fighters, council leaders and even the Kilmarnock football team.
‘Shoes Brothers’ is a collaboration led by two leading religious leaders in the Irvine area, the Rev Neil Urquhart and Fr Willie Boyd. As well as drawing people into the true spirit of Christmas, this year’s special video message also gives the red card to bigotry in Ayrshire communities.
Wearing their blues brothers outfits the two clergy (Jake and Neilwood) are struck by lightning and receive a ‘Mission from God’.
They have to unite across the divide and help people find their good news dancing shoes, each of them joining in with the Christmas dance.
Thus they embark on a journey through Irvine which takes them to North Ayrshire Council’s HQ to seek the blessing of the provost, a shave with the police, being patched up by paramedics and rescued by the Fire Brigade.
Pensioners and youngsters from the area are also involved, with all four local schools joining in to give a red card to bigotry along with the Kilmarnock first team squad.
In a poignant moment at the end of the film, a Rangers, Celtic and tartan scarf are joined together on a nativity crib at the foot of a bare Christmas tree.
Fr Willie Boyd explained: “For the last three years myself and Reverend Neil have made short films to share the real meaning of Christmas, and this year we extended it slightly to give the boot to bigotry.
“We aim to give the Irvine area a clear lead in proving that our communities can and do live together in mutual respect and unite in celebrating Christmas."
The Rev Neil Urquhart added: “When Christ was born, walked this earth, died and rose again, he wasn’t Roman Catholic or Protestant, nor of a particular political party or tribe, rather he was, and is, in the business of uniting us in God’s costly Love.
“Right across the community, it's wonderful who joined the Christmas dance to give a red card to sectarianism, bigotry and all that causes people to ignore and hate those who are different from themselves,” he said.
The video was premiered at Fullarton Parish Church in Irvine and can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgMqj604WJU&feature=youtu.be%20