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07 Dec 2021

Nativity scene sleepout set to be held under a Cooley bridge in aid of the Peter McVerry Trust

The railway bridge where the sleepout is set to be held

The railway bridge where the sleepout is set to be held

A Cooley railway bridge is set to become a living nativity scene where local families can sleep out to help raise funds for the homeless.

The Advent Sleep Out  - under the Bridge at Bush - is a partnership between Cooley Parish and the Peter McVerry Trust, who are the national housing and homelessness charity in Ireland.

The month-long sleep out, which will begin on November 28th and run until December 23rd, is being done in an effort to raise money for the Peter McVerry trust to help those who are homeless in communities across Ireland.

The bridge itself is already being transformed into a stables like the traditional nativity scene, with bales of straw being gathered by parish families and the organisations who are hosting the sponsored Sleep Out.

“This is an opportunity for our parish community to keep homeless people at the very heart of our preparations to celebrate the birth of Christ,” said parish priest Fr Malachy Conlon.

“This brings to life the Christmas story. It’s an opportunity to bring us out of our materialism and selfishness and a chance for people to express their solidarity with the homeless people.

“We can come together in the season of Advent in a very tangible way to give voice to our genuine concern for those in our country that have nowhere to call home.”

Peter McVerry, who founded and is a board member of the Peter McVerry Trust, thanked those in Cooley who are planning on sleeping out to raise funds.

“This is very creatively recreating the nativity scene - Jesus who was born homeless - at the old bridge at Bush. This will be a tremendous boost to us and will enable us to continue to serve homeless people.”

According to Fr Conlon, the sleep out will be open to all and will be a “joyful occasion” with music and a cookout.

More information is available on the Facebook page of Cooley Parish or contact Jene Bolton 087 282 4802 or Fr Malachy on 087 238 5940.

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