Ted Lindsey and Brian Walks of St. Mark's in Surrey prepare one of nine displays that make up the parish's `Journey of Christmas.'

Imagine a Christmas display that includes a walk on a lit pathway through the woods to visit nine theatres that highlight the story of the first Christmas.

Now entering its sixth year at St. Mark's Ocean Park, the "Journey of Christmas presents the Christmas story in this unique setting.

The project was the idea of John Reader and was produced for the first time in 1999 by the parish's Men's Club. Their concern was that the real Spirit of Christmas was being overshadowed by commercialization of the Christmas holiday.

The Journey of Christmas has become a "must-see" event for hundreds of visitors every year. Hundreds of others discover it for the first time.

A committee of 14 has been at work to maintain and improve the display. This year the journey theme will be brought to the church entrance to greet visitors before they embark on the journey itself. The nine theatres are set up behind the church building. St. Mark's wants the journey experience to begin when visitors park their cars.

This year the audio soundtrack has been re-recorded with new sound effects and music. The parish is working each year to improve the reception area where people are invited to go to take light refreshment after their trip through the woods. The hall will be decorated with Christmas trees. Musicians have been invited to lead carol singing on some evenings.

The Manger Scene at St. Mark's Ocean Park is touched up by MariAnn Hussen before the opening of the parish's annual "Journey of Christmas" display that opens December 14

The Journey of Christmas takes about 20 minutes to complete. It will be open from December 14 to 28 from 6 to 9 pm, and open on December 24 at 3:30 pm. It will be closed Christmas Day. The church is at 12953 20th Avenue, South Surrey.