Burnley Council has been forced to cancel its annual community Nativity Play for the 126th consecutive year in succession.

After another exhaustive search of the Borough they were yet again unable to find three wise men or a virgin.

Encouragingly, and as per every year, there were many, many, many volunteers to be shepherds and one particularly good candidate to play the rear end of the donkey.

Headmistress Danielle Brearley said “I really thought this year would be the year. Honest! I just had a feeling but it wasn’t to be. We are just going to have to do with the Cliff Richard CD and Black Pudding vol au vents like last year”

A spokesman for the Church of England said “Nativity Play? Seriously? People still do that? Who knew?”