‘Baby Jesus’ is a living doll!

Ruth and Ben Ray with Ted, Irminie and 'baby Jesus'

Ruth and Ben Ray with Ted, Irminie and 'baby Jesus' - Credit: Archant

A five-day-old baby had big bootees to fill when she played Jesus in a Nativity scene at Sidmouth’s late-night shopping event.

The whole Ray family took part in a community event that is ‘always a real pleasure to be part of’ and made one woman’s Christmas.

They were chosen when Ruth found out she was expecting and mocked up a stable, complete with straw, for Follow the Star at Sidmouth Prayer Room.

“Seeing children’s faces as they realise that it’s a ‘real baby’ in the manger is a treat,” said Ruth, who played Mary, with dad Ben as Joseph.

The as-yet-unnamed baby was born at her parents’ home in Sidmouth on Monday.

Her big brother, Ted, four, and two-year-old sister, Irminie, also had roles to play in the Nativity.

“One lady reported that visiting the stable had made her Christmas, which definitely makes it all feel worthwhile,” added Ruth, 35, a business psychologist.

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“Baby is still waiting for a name, but since she’s a girl, Jesus, unfortunately, isn’t an option.

“She slept the whole way through – in fact, she was so good that we asked people to stroke her face to prove that she wasn’t just a doll!”

The Rays are part of the Living Stones church and helped to organise the scene at last Friday’s late-night event, when some 120 people passed through.

The first-year pupils from local schools also came to visit during the week.

Ruth and Ben’s baby was the fourth to play Jesus.

Organiser Angie Carney said: “Last year, we had a break, but as we had a ‘Jesus’ due, we decided to run the event again this year.”

? See more photographs from the night in this week’s Herald.

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