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Church plans Christmas panorama

Wilroy Baptist Church will be putting on its annual holiday attraction this weekend to remind Suffolk what Christmas is all about.

The church has been holding its panorama for many years as a Christmas tradition that’s free and open to the public, and it will do so once again this Friday to Sunday from 7 to 8 p.m. each night.

Sheila Morris has been helping to set up the event for the last few years, and she is excited to hold this event for the city.

“It’s something that we try and do every year. It’s our gift to the community,” Morris said. “It’s about the real reason for Christmas, and it kicks off the Christmas season. It’s a nice feeling of Christmas instead of the hustle and bustle of buying presents.”

People that attend will get to turn the headlights off and drive leisurely through and view each of the scenes, which depict events in the life of Jesus, including His birth. Morris said those that drive through don’t have to rush through each scene; they have a chance to look at it and read the Bible verses that go along with the scene.

“They can take as much time as they want, and they can take pictures. We also encourage them to read the verses,” Morris said.

At the end of the ride, attendees will receive a small gift bag that includes a candy cane as a way to say thank you.

The event is no small feat for the church. Morris said almost all of the congregation that is physically able helps out.

“Around 40 people help out just with the scenes. That doesn’t include the people handing out programs and bags, people providing costumes or the ones making us hot chocolate,” Morris said. “A good portion of our church chips in.”

The event has been an emotional one for some that attend, and Morris can remember seeing people cry from joy after viewing the final scene, the ascension of Jesus.

There will be a minister available for those that may need it.

“If we touch one person’s life to make that decision, it is worth it all,” Morris said.

Wilroy Baptist Church is located at 306 Williams Road, off Wilroy Road. Call 539-5658 or visit wilroybaptistchurch.com for more information.