Herod having a bad hair day and a googly-eyed camel are just two of the images in Farsley parish church’s novel Advent calendar – which uses the windows of 24 shops on Town Street.
Vicar of St John’s, the Revd Paul Tudge, says, “We’ve created 24 acetate ‘stained glass windows’ to display in 24 Farsley shops from 1-24th December. The aim is to keep the community going to local shops so that Town Street remains vibrant, and, as they’re all based on the Christmas story, it's to help people keep in mind what we’re really celebrating at this time of year.”
The windows have been designed by six local artists (including Paul’s wife, Rosie). Some are relevant to the particular shop, so at the hairdresser’s, Herod’s having a bad hair day, and the optician’s window features a camel with googly eyes. When it’s their turn, shopkeepers have been asked to open their calendar door as early as possible. Adrienne's the florists will be opening the first one on 1 December.
The Advent trail follows on from a very successful Easter sheep trail the church organised around the local shops. Paul adds, “It’s become a big thing in Farsley and because so many more shops wanted to get involved this time, we’ve produced another 24 images which contain a detail of each of the main images – such as a shepherd’s foot or a sheep’s tail – so the children can have fun trying to link them up with the original window.
“They can be seen from outside and inside the shops - the door shown on the outside of the shop is the outside of St John’s main door and inside the shop you see the inside of St John’s door.”
The calendar also coincides with Small Business Saturday on 6 December – a national day to support, inspire and promote small businesses.