A sculptor from Kingsley has crafted the real meaning of Christmas at Chester Cathedral.

Tony Evans has created a near life-size nativity scene from copper and bronze.

From the beginning of Advent, the sculptures, which include Joseph, Mary and a donkey, will take up residence in the cathedral nave.

The spectacular scene, specially commissioned by the cathedral, is intended to be provocative and will serve to remind passers-by of the real meaning of Christmas.

Tony normally specialises in sculpting animals but the figure of the Christ Child is based on his young grandson, Luke.

The copper nativity scene at Chester Cathedral
The copper nativity scene at Chester Cathedral
 

Vice Dean Peter Howell-Jones said: “Our crib scene this year dominates the cathedral nave. If you are sitting or walking, these simple figures interrupt your journey and demand your attention. This set-up might at first seem like a potential annoyance – to visitors and cathedral staff alike - but it is deliberate.

“If you take time to ponder the gravity of the event that is portrayed, your imagination is captured and you are drawn closer to the real meaning of Christmas.”

The Rev Canon Jane Brooke added: “It is wonderful to welcome these beautiful figures into the cathedral. We were confident that children in particular would love the crib scene and be drawn to it. We weren’t wrong in our assumption – as soon as the figures were put out, a number of small children came over to take a look!”

The figures will remain in the cathedral until February 2, 2014.