A Festival of Angels

From Seraphic Sopranos and edible Biscuit Angels, through Angelic Choirs, Angel Mosaics, Angels Amongst Us, and Angels from South African HIV Clinics, these few photographs represent some of the most moving submissions at the Angel Festival held in St. Cuthbert’s, Holy Trinity Whitfield, and St. Mark’s Ninebanks.

Sometimes it was the angels’ back story that moved, as Ros Ronaldson, carefully arranging flowers on Saturday, noted that the South African angels had moved her to tears. Other displays moved because of the care and attention that had gone into their creation. Still others because of the tribute paid to those angels who care for us in the real physical world.

And who would ever think of edible angels! A brilliant idea I thought, but I restrained myself from gobbling one up, even though I did feel a bit peckish on our trip around the parish to marvel at all 60 or so angel displays.

It was nice to visit Holy Trinity at Whitfield, and St. Mark’s at Ninebanks, and I got special dispensation to slip into St. Cuthbert’s during the early soundcheck on Saturday for one of the Folk Festival acts, just to take a few photographs. Ticket-holders for that concert in the afternoon, and church-goers this morning, will be able to enjoy the angels’ glory.

Glory, that’s something we don’t talk about much these days, do we? It seems like a missing component in a humanist’s lexicon, and yet. In great sporting endeavours, as when a sportsperson achieves glory for their country at the Olympics; or in war-time heroism, we say that. But of the second sort of definition:

Glory: noun

  1. high renown or honour won by notable achievements. “to fight and die for the glory of one’s nation”
  2. magnificence or great beauty. “the train has been restored to all its former glory”

especially in a spiritual, or we could say a transcendent context, we often pass it by. There is glory surely, transcendent all around us, as the angel creators throughout this parish seemed universally to understand, if only we open our senses to it. More than a metaphor, this sort of glory can bring tears to the eyes of the hardest amongst us.

So special thanks are due to the organisers of this Festival of Angels, for helping us appreciate the glory of angels in our lives.

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