The church was keen to continue the tradition and asked the Herald to publish an article appealing for a willing donkey volunteer and transport.

We then contacted Redwings Horse Sanctuary, in Oxhill, which has offered the services of two young donkeys, Timothy and Cain.

Nicola Markwell from the sanctuary said: “Timothy and Cain’s mums were both rescued in terrible condition from the horrors of Spindle Farm in Amersham, in 2008, when over 100 horses, ponies and donkeys were rescued from what became known as ‘Hell Farm’ – dead horses and donkeys had been left with live ones and so many were hungry, thirsty and in terrible condition.”

Luckily Timothy was born the day after his rescue to mum Mary, and Cain arrived five months later.

Nicola added that the young donkeys, who are appropriately named after Biblical characters, will be beginning a training programme ready for their Palm Sunday appearance.

The procession starts at 10am from The Bell, in Shottery, before moving along Church Lane to St Andrew’s Church. The donkey then waits by the door as the crowd enters the church.

Both Timothy and Cain are part of the Oxhill donkeys group available for adoption for £12.50 a year by visiting their website.