Heritage Christian’s Dickens Village runs Dec. 9 thru 12

Carolers sing the sounds of the season for visitors to The Dickens Village at Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville, held nightly Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 9-12, 6 to 9 p.m. Photo/Special.

Christmas is in the air at Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville. Members are once again dusting up on their British accents and preparing to host their annual Dickens Village, held nightly, Thursday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 12 from 6-9 p.m.

Since 2000, each December, the members of Heritage have recreated a 19th Century English Village complete with period costumed cast members, strolling carolers, chimney sweeps, and even some English bobbies to keep the peace.

“Through Dickens Village, we want to minister to our community and show we’re a family friendly church,” said Steve Geyer, pastor of Family Ministries, “Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ focuses on a child, Tiny Tim, and his plight. At Christmas, we celebrate the child Jesus and we want to share that with our community.”

Dickens Village, which is free of charge, is a Christmas family tradition in the local community. Guests to the village are treated to more than just a fun holiday evening. Families can have their photo taken in Dickens-style clothing and setting, children can make toys, candles, or ornaments, drink hot chocolate and cider, eat famous Georgia chestnuts/peanuts, cookies, and popcorn and much more while they get into the Christmas spirit.

Hundreds of Heritage members along with their families and friends take part in preparing and hosting Dickens Village. A lot of the work involved in staging Dickens Village encompasses the sets and props that create the unique Old English Victorian Village, complete with a variety of shops, props, and food stands.

Although it has been cancelled for this Friday because of Starr’s Mill’s football championship playoff, this year’s new attraction is “The Lake Experience—A Biblical Journey,” a scenic trolley ride around the lake on the church’s property through a dramatic Biblical narrative of the life of Jesus. The lake experience will include narratives of the birth of Jesus, the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus walking on the water, and much more. Over 140 participants, including many of the youth in the student ministry, will be the actors in the Lake Experience, which will be held Saturday and Sunday.

The indoor stage show is entitled, “Christmas Around the World.” It will take place at 6:45 and 8 p.m. in the church’s main worship center. This 40-minute musical production will showcase the celebration of Christmas in various countries around the world including England, Germany, Haiti and Mexico.

Also appearing at Dickens Village will be local school choirs from McIntosh High School, Peachtree City Elementary, Trinity Christian School and Brooks Elementary.

An additional new feature this year is “Tiny Tim’s Buddy Night.” On Saturday, Dec. 11, trained volunteers will host and assist families of special needs children. The “special families” will be treated to a behind the scenes backstage guided tour that begins at 5:30 p.m., special parking and preferred seating. That evening, the chime choir from the Joseph Sam’s School will perform.

To RSVP for Tiny Tim’s Buddy Night and the behind the scenes tour, email Ivy Morris, ivymorris@heritagechristian.org.

Also new this year, the church will be supporting Compassion International by encouraging guests to sponsor children in Haiti.

“Everything is free of charge at Dickens Village,” said Michele Barnett, Impressions Minister at Heritage. “This is our Christmas gift to the community. Our desire is that our community will pay it forward and give the gifts of food, shelter and hope to children in need in Haiti.”

Heritage Christian is in south Fayetteville, at the corner of Redwine Road and Peachtree Parkway.

For more information, visit www.heritagechristian.org and click the Dickens Village Link or call the church office, 770-716-5768.

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