Potter along to ‘Alternativity’!

Sarah Hosking pictured with her father’s crib – which takes pride of place at the Guild Chapel Alternativity. Photo: Mark Williamson

Forget the quiet reverence of standard church nativities, and instead enjoy the exuberant fun to be had at the Alternativity at Guild Chapel – that’s the message from organiser Sarah Hosking.

The cheery service, subtitled A Feast For Christmas, has been organised by Sarah and the Reverend Paul Edmondson, of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, as a charity fundraiser annually for the past few years.

The celebration takes place on Saturday, 6th December at 6pm. It is free with a retiring collection for Hosking Houses Trust.

It’s 75 years since the death of Beatrix Potter, on 22nd December 1943, and in tribute to her, actress Sunny Ormonde (the irrepressible Lilian on Radio 4’s The Archers) will be reading The Tailor of Gloucester in its entirety. Settings of its original songs will be performed by the choir of Warwick Preparatory School with accompaniment on hand-bells and solo-voice. Congregational singing to be accompanied by the organ.

Pride of place at the Alternativity is the crib made by Sarah’s dad, Dick Hosking. Sarah explains: “Dad was head of Coventry Art College from 1948 to 1965. His work can be seen in Leamington Art Gallery and Museum. He could make anything, and he made this crib out of wood and sawdust around 1955.”

The Town Trust paid for the crib’s restoration in 2016.

Sarah runs the Hosking Houses Trust, a charity that supports women writers; giving them a free space to live and work in Clifford Chambers for a short duration, as well as a bursary.

The charity plans to open a studio for artists in the new year.

Find out more at www.hoskinghouses.co.uk