At 6am on 22nd December eight of us gathered at Wesley to pray before taking out 365 knitted, crocheted and crafted angels and placing them around the city walls, each with an invitation to be taken away.
I walked the walls again on Christmas Eve praying for the homes into which the angels had found their way. These angels were beautifully created by members of churches from across the circuit (Helsby have already taken part in the Christmas Angels project for a number of years). After inviting people to take part in the September circuit meeting, we were also partnered by Hoole Baptist and Northgate Church in Chester. Community groups and the Hive at Wesley took part, friends and families joined in.
The project originated in the work of one of the VentureFX pioneers in Edinburgh and was picked up by the North Shields and Whitley Bay circuit. Last Spring I went up to interview David Wynd and Rob Wylie, the superintendent and circuit mission worker to hear how they had interpreted the gift of sharing the unexpected good news that the angels bring in the nativity stories with the contemporary phenomenon of yarnbombing.
Each individual angel has a tag attached with a message of hope, peace or joy and a hash tag for social media and a website link so that anyone who finds an angel can follow up the story and connect with others. Knitting the angels either individually or in groups allows a slowing down before and during the period of advent, a time to reflect on the nature of the angels' message. For those who receive the gift of the angel, there is the opportunity to receive the words of peace and hope the angels bring. As we focus on way in which we live out our calling as the Methodist Church to respond to the love of God in Christ and to live out our discipleship in worship and mission, we can sometimes lack the confidence to find ways to articulate our faith to the world. Christmas Angels offer us the opportunity to pray for our communities as we prepare and then to engage in evangelism as we share the good news of the coming of Christ into a world in need of God's love.
I'd love to follow up and hear the stories of those who knitted the angels so please get in touch and I look forward to hearing from you.
Christine Dutton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Garden Lane Uniting Church CH1 4EW — Uniting Church in Garden Lane
Community Coffee Mornings 10.30am — 12 noon
Admission £2 includes Fairtrade tea or coffee & a cake or scone
Saturday 1st June NLI Rhyl Lifeboat
Alsager, Wesley Place ST7 2AF — Sun 2nd 4.30pm Alsager, District Farewell to Rev'd Peter Barber
Saughall Methodist Church CH1 6EN — Saughall Coffee Mornings
2nd and 4th Wednesdays
10.30am — noon