CONTEMPORARY nativity scenes, 3D snowflakes and digital dogs were highlights of an advent window as a retired teacher joined her former students for an official unveiling of their work.
Recently retired assistant headteacher Julie Mackenley, who served St John’s School and Sixth Form College A Catholic Academy, Bishop Auckland, for 35 years, was invited to officiate at the festive unwrapping.
Year 9 students and their art teacher Natasha Kipling worked tirelessly on the Yuletide display, part of the annual advent window project to attract visitors to the town.
The idea of David Pott and backed by Town Team, the St John’s window was one of 23 across Bishop Auckland transformed into an advent display in partnership with a host of organisations including schools.
Students designed the display with the theme of the carol See Amid the Winter Snow and to match the commercial premises, Mutley's Dog Grooming Parlour, in Newgate Street, owned by Tracy Purvis.
They were joined for the unveiling by members of the school band, who played the carol, Town Team volunteers and teaching staff.
Miss Mackenley said: “I had such a lovely time at the school and am delighted to be asked to unveil this lovely advent window.”
Ms Purvis said: “The children have done a brilliant job and you can see just how much effort they have put into the window display. The carol is one of my favourites; anything with snow in it is always Christmassy.”
Mr Pott added: “I had seen the advent window idea in a town when I lived in the South and thought it would be great for Bishop Auckland. It has been great way to involve the whole community.”
Town Team chairman Nigel Bryson said: “The project encourages people to follow a trail around town and get a real feel for where things are. It also attracts a host of visitors so promotes Bishop Auckland as a tourist destination.”
Students based their Christmas scene on the work of artist Michela Keck. Mrs Kipling said: “They have done a brilliant job with a lot of the finishing work being done unaided in their own time.
“The snowflakes involved a team effort as each student made a petal and they had to work together to form the flakes. It has been such a lovely project which everyone has thoroughly enjoyed.”