Nativity scene a tiny wonder

Visitors to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in Queen Street yesterday were treated to a stunning exhibit of the nativity scene.

The miniature display recreates the story of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. Jesus is shown as a baby, surrounded by his mother Mary and her husband Joseph, along with the three wise men who came bearing gifts for the infant.

For many Christians around the world, putting up the nativity scene has become a part of the Christmas tradition. It is a way to feel close to the mystery of Christ's birth.

The scene at the cathedral was created by husband and wife duo Bernard Yeo, 52, and Marie Yeo, 50.

The businessman, who has no formal art background, and his wife, a retiree, first constructed a similar exhibit at St Ignatius Church five years ago.

However, this model is much bigger, measuring 6m by 4m and standing 3m tall.

Though the religious figurines were flown in from Rome, the structure was fully built by hand by Mr Yeo, using materials such as papier mache, clay and plaster.

It took five months to complete, and even includes intricate details like a rotating water wheel.

The scene will be on display at the church's JM Beurel Centre until Jan 7.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2016, with the headline 'Nativity scene a tiny wonder'. Print Edition | Subscribe