Stunning display of more than 1,000 angels commemorates 900 years of worship at St Peter's Church

St Peter's Church in Felkirk has set up a stunning display of more than 1,000 paper angels made by members of the community, to commemorate 900 years of worship while conveying the importance of hope and prayer throughout the pandemic.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY

Last year a group of the church’s congregation banded together to form a group called ‘Felkirk 900’.

The group, which consists of Father Craig Tomlinson, Delma Barnard, Dorothy Wood, Vicki Vibert, Sonya Millthorpe, Chrissy Thompson, Stephen Aviss, Wayne Handley, Paul Archer, Paul Sugden and Martin and Jackie Sawdon, took it upon themselves to host a year of fun, with events, activities and displays to get their community involved with celebrating 900 years of worship in Felkirk.

Celebrations began on New Years Day, when Felkirk hosted a sing-along and refreshments for their community, and hosted many events up until lockdown landed in March.

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Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY

Chrissy Thompson, said: “Our plans for future events were cancelled by the pandemic but prior to that we had planned a treasure hunt, strawberry afternoon tea, history exhibition and history walks, a Jubilee concert, Yorkshire Day celebrations at Hodroyd, a musical soiree, craft fair and a Christmas tree festival.

“Felkirk 900 met in late August to determine the best way forward.

“As the pandemic was still very much dictating lives, we decided to cancel all future events believing that people would still be fearful and not attend.

“But one of our group members, Dorothy Wood, had seen the angels in Ripon Cathedral and thought this was something we could replicate at Felkirk.

Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY

“So she set about encouraging other congregation members and friends, and friends of friends to make paper angels.”

After gathering over 1,000 paper angels from village residents of all ages, with covid safe restrictions in place, Felkirk 900 displayed them within the church for all to see.

They hang suspended from the columns and chandeliers of the church, in all colours shapes and sizes.

Many of the angels have been made from old maps to represent the world and others were made from past church leaflets.

Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY

And apart from becoming part of the Felkirk 900 celebrations, they also serve as a hopeful symbol for those who visit the church during the covid-19 pandemic and the hardships of lockdown.

Father Tomlinson said: “In Christianity, the angel is not specifically someone who has wings and flies around - an angel is a messenger.

“Although we have made our angels with wings, because that's our initial impression- but many angels people have made that are hanging in our church are special because they carry prayers.

“People have written their own prayers on their angels, and that is so incredibly important for us.

Photographs by PAOLINA PHOTOGRAPHY

“Some people have written thanks to God for the wonderful work the NHS have done, caring for people in this terrible time.

“The angels serve as messengers, carrying messages of hope for us and messages of our prayers to God.”

The angels will remain on display to the public until December.

At the end of the year, Felkirk 900 will gather the angels and burn them, as a visible sign of the written hopes and prayers rising up and being given up to god.