Holy unexpected: Joseph proposes to Mary

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A NATIVITY play Joseph added a new twist to the story of Jesus’ birth when he proposed to his Mary in front of hundreds of delighted onlookers in Hull.

Gareth Yardley, 31, got down on one knee and told girlfriend Lyndsey Holmes, 25: “This bit’s not in the Bible – but could be added in”, before asking her to marry him.

The special moment was shared by their nine-week-old son Sidney, who played the baby Jesus in the spectacular live nativity – which featured real animals, including three camels, three sheep and a donkey.

The romantic scene unfolded at Holy Trinity Parish Church in the Old Town – where the couple now plan to marry – after a rain-soaked procession through the city’s streets.

Mr Yardley, an engineer, admitted he had never felt as nervous in his life.

“As soon as she said yes the church bells started ringing, it was perfect,” he said.

“Now I just can’t believe it has happened and Lyndsey is the same. We are just totally overwhelmed, to be honest.

“Her saying ‘yes’ was the best Christmas present I could ever have.”

The couple, of Southcotes Lane, Hull, met four years ago at the pub where Miss Holmes, a student, was working, and have another son, Finley, two.

Miss Holmes said: “I did not have a clue what was going to happen but I didn’t have to think about it. I said ‘yes’ in an instant.”

The Rev Matthew Woodcock, who organised the pageant, said: “It was such a magic moment when Gareth went down on one knee. No one will forget this Christmas because of it.”