If you go to the Orange Order’s museum next month, you’re sure of a big surprise.
That is because the Institution is hosting a Teddy Bear Bible Festival at the Museum of Orange Heritage, Belfast, to coincide with Easter.
Aimed particularly at families and younger people, a number of well-known Bible stories will be illustrated using teddy bears, and made amenable to the wider public.
During the Easter holidays, two craft days will also be hosted for children.
Over the past few months, following an appeal, Orangemen and members of the wider public have donated teddy bears for use in the unique display. At the conclusion of the festival, the furry characters will be donated to charity.
Speaking ahead of the event, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Rev Mervyn Gibson, said: “Easter is a special time in the Christian calendar. We want to use the Teddy Bear Bible Festival to encourage everyone, but especially young people and families, to learn more about Bible and the powerful and liberating message of the Easter story. We thank all those who donated teddy bears as part of this unique witness.
“A number of well-known Bible stories will be recreated as part of the display and there will be associated art and craft activities for children. We hope that all attending the event will take the opportunity, especially at Easter, to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in their lives.”
The teddy bear festival is the latest initiative organised by the Museum of Orange Heritage in its ongoing programme of events.
Earlier this year, the Cregagh Road museum opened its ongoing ‘Through the Eye of a Needle’ exhibition examining the material culture of Orangeism.
A variety of sashes, collarettes, tablecloths and handkerchiefs are among the many items on public display, which will run until May.
In June, in its major exhibition of 2019, the museum will launch ‘For Singing and For Dancing’ which will focus on the music, poetry and ballad traditions of the Orange family.
The Teddy Bear Bible Festival will run from 10 – 27 April 2019. The craft days will be held on Wednesday 17 and Tuesday 23 April. For more information, contact the museum on 028 9070 1122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.