Lamb in the manger steals the show

Panting, grunting and snoring through service

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2013
Transitional Cathedral lamb
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/ Fairfax NZ

MEEK AND MILD: A two-week-old lamb owned by Malcolm Sewell takes centre stage at the Children’s Christmas Service with Animals at the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch. Dean Lynda Patterson, playing the innkeeper, leads the service.

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A rogue lamb wandered around baby Jesus on stage, a large kunekune pig grunted his way through Silent Night and a piglet adorned with reindeer antlers slept in her owner's arms for the entire service.

Hundreds of families and a horde of farm animals gathered yesterday in the Transitional Cathedral for the annual children and animal Christmas service.

Babies, dogs, toddlers, pigs, little boys, bobby calves, little girls, sheep, mums, donkeys, dads and goats all packed into the cathedral in the spirit of Christmas. The animals panted, baaed, grunted, snored and drooled their way through the service.

One dog was wearing green tinsel around his neck, another had mini Santa heads tied to his collar. A lamb roamed freely around the stage sporting a green and red collar and a 7-week-old piglet called Pepper even wore reindeer antlers around her middle.

The excitement was all too much for Pepper, who slept her way through the entire service, while Phill, a 160kg kunekune pig, struggled to keep his balance with his trotters sliding on the concrete floor.

Once Phill found his footing, owner John Beaufoy tried to keep him quiet during the service by distracting him with food.

For 5-year-old Coco Harty-Eugster, the "horsies and the doggies" were the highlight of the service.

"I like watching the animals," she said, from the front row.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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