A nativity scene the likes of which has never been seen before - or indeed is likely to be again - marked the opening of a festival in Helston featuring 375 nativity sets under one roof.

To celebrate its launch at the Central Methodist Church in Coinagehall Street, a collection of church members dressed as figures from the Christmas story to form the final nativity set in the entrance to the chapel.

The festival opened last Thursday and could also be seen during Friday evening for the Christmas lights switch on.

It will be open again this Friday during the lantern parade, from 5pm to 9pm, and also on Saturday from 1pm to 5pm before closing until December 14.

There will be a nativity photo booth for people to dress up and take photos of themselves as people in the nativity.

On Sunday, December 17, at 3.30pm, the church will host a crib service for members of Messy Church and all families in the area, to which everyone will dress as nativity characters.

From then the festival will run all the way through to December 23 at various times, both daytime and evening, which are on display outside the church.

On the final day there will also be a coffee morning in aid of Children's Hospice South West.

Rev Danny Reed, superintendent minister The Lizard and Mount's Bay Methodist Circuit, who is behind the festival, said: "I've not heard of this being done before and having a love for nativity I thought we could gather a few, but nearly 400 with hardly any duplications is amazing."

Sets made from porcelain, wool, wood, glass and designed for children all make an appearance, along with cards, stamps and sets from overseas.

Although not an actual record attempt, the display would not have reached the Guinness World Record for the largest display of nativity sets anyway. This title is held by Oasis Church (USA) in Pembroke Pines, Florida since it amassed a collection of 2,150 unique sets on December 11, 2010.