Many branches around the UK & Ireland help individuals and families focus on the meaning of advent, by passing round a hand knitted replica of the Holy Family*. Some dioceses add in story books, prayers and poems which families can read together.
The travelling nativity stays with a family overnight and is then taken by that family to the next recipients. Often, levels of interest in this advent initiative mean that there are several knitted nativity scenes circulating round a parish at the same time.
In the Diocese of Peterborough, they send round Mary and Joseph, rather than a full knitted nativity collection, so that Mary and Joseph can easily be included in a family activity, (such as a family meal, see photo, shopping trip, etc). A flock of sheep can also be added to the nativity and one sheep can stay with each family taking part and then be united with the travelling nativity and the rest of the sheep at a final Carol/Crib service just before Christmas.
*Please ensure that the ‘Holy Family’ are appropriately made so that young children can play with them safely, with no small parts that could become unattached and swallowed.