During December 2019, Advent Windows once again saw Bishop Auckland Town Centre turned into a giant advent calendar.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were unable to deliver Advent Windows this year so we have put the models on display in the Newgate Centre for you to enjoy.
A total of 24 shops and businesses all took part offering space in their windows for 24 schools, community groups and organisations to create an advent display.
The 2019 theme involved the construction of 24 life size models to help celebrate the unique heritage of Bishop Auckland and the traditional nativity story.
The alterNATIVITY display and Advent Windows are initiatives of the Bishop Auckland Town Team. These events would not take place without the support of several organisations and other individuals.
The Auckland Project supported the project particularly on the educational side, with schools visits to Auckland Castle, where pupils were able to see the original paintings by Zurbarán on which their models were based.
Here is a list of all the models and their makers.
The Holy Family
- Joseph – Daisy Arts Youth Programme
- Mary – Daisy Arts Adult Programme
- Infant Jesus – Oakleaf Community
- Jacob as Simeon – Woodhouse Community Primary School
- Reuben as a wise man – Escomb Primary School
- Simeon as a shepherd – St Anne’s CE Primary School
- Levi as High Priest Zechariah – Cockton Hill Infants School
- Judah as a wise man – Bishop Barrington School
- Zebulun as Isaiah the Prophet – St John’s School & 6th Form College
- Issacher as a shepherd – Etherley Lane Primary School
- Dan as a wise man – Bishop Auckland College
- Gad as a soldier – Witton-le-Wear Primary School
- Asher as a wise man – St Wilfred’s RCVA Primary School
- Naphtali as a shepherd – King James I Academy
- Joseph as the Governor Quirinius – St Joseph’s RCVA Primary School
- Benjamin as the Inn Keeper – Prince Bishop’s Primary School
- Angel Gabriel – Wear Valley Christian Centre
- Goat – Aclet Close Nursery School
- Lamb – Etherley Lane Nursery School
- Camel – Innovations
- Donkey – The Venue, Stanley
- Dog – Home Ed Gang
- Lion – St Anne’s Church of England
- Star – 1st Witton Park Brownies
24 shops and businesses hosted the windows and helped to ensure memorable openings and often provided welcome refreshments! We were grateful to all those who gave their time to come and open each window.
Bishop Auckland Town Council and Bondgate Gallery both helped with printing and thank you to Jane Crawford from Daisy Arts for her creative and artististic input.
We were grateful to the Bishop of Durham for permission to set up the alterNATIVITY display in St Peter’s Chapel on Christmas Eve.
Last, but by no means least and special big thank you to artist Laura Brenchley who led excellent workshops and inspired all the model makers in schools and community groups to produce an astonishing variety of the colourful models.
We are hopeful to bring Advent Windows back to Bishop Auckland again in 2021.