YORK Minster is preparing for what staff believe will be the world’s biggest unrehearsed nativity service.

About 350 children from across the York area will take part in the crib service, which takes place at noon on Christmas Eve, without any rehearsal.

The youngsters are requested to come dressed as characters from the Christmas story.

Canon Jonathan Draper, who will lead the event, said: “We usually have quite a few Marys and Josephs, lots of shepherds, angels and kings plus quite a few of the animals that would have been found in the stable. We also have more unusual characters which we somehow have to draw into the story –superheroes like Batman and Spiderman, and a few Harry Potters, but the most unusual has to be a dragon.”