Church's Mary told to wear helmet for nativity play donkey ride

Dec. 9, 2013 at 1:49 PM

NEATH, Wales, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Organizers of a children's nativity play in Wales said they have been told their 8-year-old Mary will have to wear a helmet to ride a donkey.

Mark Barrett, 44, a youth worker at The Bridge Church in Neath, said the owner of the donkey informed organizers of the nativity play that the girl playing Mary, Libby Doorman, 8, will have to wear a helmet due to health and safety rules, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"We've been advised that any young child riding a horse or donkey needs a hard hat for health and safety purposes," Barrett said. "We've got to consider that Mary will be riding a donkey on a public highway. I know that the donkey will not be moving very quickly but we don't want to flout the law."

"The owner of the donkey has told us because of his license she will need to wear a riding hat," he said.

Barrett said the helmet will be concealed under Mary's costume pieces for the play, which will involve the children traveling around the town square and knocking on doors to ask if there is "any room at the inn."

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