School nativity plays that relegate baby Jesus to a supporting role, instead focusing on angels or even sheep, have been criticised by the church.
A growing number of schools have scrapped the traditional Mary and Joseph performances in favour of secular alternatives such as Snow White or Scrooge.
Others have removed explicitly religious messages from their re-enactments of the birth of Christ for fear of upsetting pupils of other faiths.
Now vicars have spoken out against this watering down of the nativity, complaining that children are not being taught the spiritual message of Christmas.
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