Naming Mary’s animal companion

Can you help us please?

Mary, Joseph and their donkey journey around our local community during Advent visiting many different places in our wonderfully varied area. They get back to Church at Christmas to celebrate Jesus’ birth. The figures are small knitted figures made by Fr Ian’s mother, Mary. Their journey – we call it our Advent Posada – is a special one connecting church with different homes and places of our area.

This year the journey of the figures is shorter than usual as they will be visiting friends in our Nativities! exhibition in church. However, they will still be travelling – and in fact they’re hoping to visit one or two new places this year.

First of all, though, we have a traditional task, and we need your help. Each year we invite people to vote for a name for the donkey – Mary and Joseph’s animal companion of honour.

We always choose a female name and this year we have three very different names, from very different cultures.

Aoife (pronounced Eeffa) is an Irish name, meaning beautiful, radiant, joyful.

Lily, a popular name in many cultures, and chosen for us by a person from Hong Kong, is named from the lovely flower the Lily, a symbol of hope and new life for Christians.

Shakti, an Indian Hindu girl’s name, meaning strength, might, effort and also is the name of the goddess seen as the personification of divine feminine power.

So what a wonderful variety.

We can now announce the winner!

Aoife received 45% of the vote, Lily 32% and Shakti 23%

So this year the donkey is named Aoife.

Thank you to all who voted.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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