Perhaps rather few people, watching this Nativity Play in this school gym with its high blank walls and slightly-leaking roof, sense the tradition of which they are a part. A tradition, it has to be said, which is becoming decidedly fragile, and for the reason that the very culture of which it is at the heart is fragile too.
It is, in fact, something of a wonder that secular-run schools should still do the "Nativity" thing at all, although many in the State system have long since retreated from this overt display of the nation's religious heritage.
Sensitive souls, of which parts of the school system have an abundance, look askance at anything that smacks of a culture that is embedded in our shameful Imperial past. Their urge is to purge every trace of it from our modern, multi-cultural society....
The angels, the shepherds, the Three Kings, the inn keeper and Mary and Joseph – and assorted snow flakes and animals – may not grasp the significance of what they are involved in, but a reference point is being established for the rest of their lives.