Room at the inn is the least of Mary's problems - if she can't find a donor donkey she may not even get there at all.

Elise De Bono, 15, is getting set to play Mary in the Nativity Procession from Cheam town centre to Cheam Baptist Church next month but needs a donkey to make the look complete.

The plan is for Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Joanna Rowsell to switch on the lights and then for Mary to ride down the road on a donkey on Friday, December 7.

But time is running out for an animal to come forward.

Lifelong Cheam Baptist-goer Elise said: "I’d appeal to anyone who has a donkey to help out if they can. The procession will look much better if I’m riding a donkey. And, anyway, I don’t want to have to walk."

Mary will travel down The Broadway with Joseph, played by Jack Wright, as well as angels, shepherds and three wise men - but, potentially, no donkey.

Tim Saunders, the minister of Cheam Baptist Church said: "Ideally we would like Mary to be able to ride a donkey, but we are having trouble finding one. The evening is about bringing the village together to celebrate Christmas. It is important to remember that the birth of Jesus is at the heart of the celebrations."

The church says it would accept a pony.

Local councillor Mary Burstow added: "If anyone can help, please do. When the lights go on Cheam will look absolutely magical. Mary riding a donkey to the church would be the perfect way to get Christmas started."

If you think you can help, please contact Cheam Baptist Church on: 020 8642 5070 or