Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Bus shelters show nativity scene

'The bus stop is like a stable.' Pic: Churches Advertising Network /PA

An artist's image of the nativity, which replaces the stable with an urban bus shelter, has been unveiled as part of a Church campaign.

The oil painting by Andrew Gadd - which will appear as posters in UK bus shelters - is to be used to promote awareness of the Christmas story.

The Churches Advertising Network (CAN), leading the campaign, previously depicted Jesus as Che Guevara.

Chairman Francis Goodwin said: "We want to challenge people."

The aim was to make people "reassess what the birth of Jesus means to them", he said.

Another campaign the network ran was based on the idea that Mary was having a "bad hair day" when she gave birth to Jesus.

In this year's poster, shepherds and wise men are replaced by commuters, with some watching the nativity while others are checking the timetable and flagging down a bus.

Mr Gadd said: "The bus stop when simplified is like a stable. It is after all a shelter - a place people go to but never want to be.

"So where better to stage a nativity? How unlikely. The image would reflect the environment that it would be shown in and would therefore include the viewer. Which is what it is all about."

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