2,000 angels to hang from ceiling at Sandsend's St Mary's Church

St Mary’s Church in Sandsend has been hosting angel tea parties where people get together to create angels, for its Christmas installation.

By Helen le Roux
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 3:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 3:16 pm

The project is well on its way to producing 2,000 angels which are now hanging from the church ceiling, ready to be blessed by the Archdeacon of Cleveland.

The Project is a community-driven initiative.

People are busy crafting 2,000 angels which will form the spectacular display in the church.

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The 2,000 angels hanging from the ceiling at St Mary's Church, Sandsend, ready to be blessed by the Archdeacon of Cleveland. picture: Ceri Oakes.

The angels are being knitted, sewn, crocheted, cooked out of salt dough and folded out of repurposed waste pipes.

All this was born of an idea from Sandsend residents Helen and Judy, who noticed how crafting became popular during lockdown.

Not only did this give people a creative purpose, it also brought them together due to their shared interests.

Helen said: “When people were so fed up just after Christmas, we launched The Angel Project.

“The idea was also inspired by Goathland where they have an annual tradition of making angels and attaching them round villages to let people know when special Christmas carol services and events are happening.”

So far, hundreds of angels have appeared, all crafted from every age group possible - and are now adorning the church roof.

Anne Dobson of Whitby, who was asked if she’d like to get involved, said: “No one was thinking of Christmas then, but I love knitting, so armed with a ball of sparkling wool and a pattern, I’ve found it really relaxing to take part.

“It’s been so traumatic when you think of all the nurses and hospital staff involved in the pandemic, you think of all the goodness they brought.

“So this has felt like a positive thing to do in a year when we’ve had some very sad and dull times.”

June Griffiths received an invitation to get involved while in isolation. She started by following instructions on how to repurpose waste overflow pipes into angel dresses.

“It’s lovely in its simplicity and I’ve been quite happy to knit, and it has a lovely sense of fellowship to do it together.

“I shall be sad when we finish the project,” she said.

2,000 angels by candlelight is opening on Friday November 26, 5pm to 7pm, tickets available from Sandsend Stores, Judy or Helen – or call 893500.

The Archdeacon of Cleveland will bless the angels at a service at 6pm on Sunday November 28.