the star of St John Fisher sixth form’s outdoor nativity was caught sleeping on the job, but no-one involved in the event minded one little bit.
That’s because Francis Michael Regan, who played the infant Jesus on the steps on Longcauseway United Reform Church last Wednesday, was just five days old at the time.
It was a proud day for parents Tom, 28, and Helen, 35, but a particularly poignant occasion for dad, because he played the same role when the school staged the first of what was to become an annual commemoration in 1983.
Mr Regan said: “Helen is head of science at St John Fisher and was approached by the chaplain, Helen Peyton, who’s a family friend. She knew I’d been in the first one and said it would be good if Francis could do it this time.
“We saw her on Sunday, she phoned to ask us on Monday and we were thrilled to say yes.
“Francis behaved perfectly – he slept all the way through.”
Mum and dad, from Huddersfield, and both sets of grandparents watched on as the star of the show snoozed contentedly.
Mr Regan said: “It was a very emotional occasion for us all. Helen had a little tear in her eye, though I can honestly say it was too cold for that for me!
“I was two months old when I did it. I’m told I slept through the nativity outside the church but cried when we repeated the performance at school.”
The Regan family connection wasn’t the only case of a son following in his father’s footsteps, last Wednesday, either.
Tom Halloran, who took the part of Joseph, was – by sheer coincidence – also reprising the role played by his dad, Paul, at the first live nativity 28 years ago.