Advent Day 9: Angels brighten up communities with message of hope

Churches in East Renfrewshire and Fife are spreading messages of hope and joy around their local areas in the form of homemade angels.

Members of all ages at Bourock Parish Church in Barrhead are crafting a different angelic creation each week in the run up to Christmas and encouraging others to make angels to hang in their windows.

Angels Bourock Church
The Angelic touch - Bourock Parish Church in Barrhead is ensuring the community has wings this Christmas.

Some of the decorations will be hung on railings outside the church, which the public will be invited to take home and display.

Young church members are planning to help to deliver angels to peoples' doorsteps.

In Dunfermline town centre an "Angel Walk" is being launched to bring the Christmas story to life in a new and "uplifting" way.

During the first week of Advent, the colourful knitted figures will be put on display in shop windows and can be found by consulting a special digital map.

Each angel has a QR code that can be scanned with smart phones so people can learn all about the birth of Baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem.

The story will be told through pictures and videos narrated by members of local Church congregations.

Hope and joy

Linda Dye, Session Clerk at Bourock Parish Church, explained why the congregation decided to get the community involved.

"It really started through our junior church who made angels," she said.

"They convey a message of hope and joy which is very much similar to a rainbow.

"Anybody can do this – it can be an ornament, a tree decoration or similar.

"Everybody can put an angel in their window to join in.

"When children are out walking, they'll be able to see them in windows."

Bourock Parish Church are also partnering with other churches locally to create a carol walk around the town.

The public will be encouraged to visit the churches, with each displaying a QR code outside that can be scanned to hear a recording of a Christmas Carol.

"The message we need to get out is we're still doing things, just differently," Mrs Dye added.

Uplifting message

Around 3,000 knitted angels are going to children across the Dunfermline community, including to some primary schools, as part of the project to bring festive cheer to the town during what has been a challenging year.

Each angel bears a red heart tag with variants of a message that reads – "Angels everywhere bringing…love, or joy, or peace or hope.

Banners bearing the same messages will be put on display outside local churches.

Project co-ordinator, Rev Monika Redman, minister of St Leonard's Church, said: "Keen knitters at local churches have taken advantage of the time afforded by COVID-19 restrictions so if you go down to the shops today, you're in for a big surprise.

"The original plan had been to ‘angel bomb' the town centre, whereby members of the public could take an angel home, but due to the virus they are now being redirected to various local schools and homes in a safe and secure manner.

"The ‘Angel Walk' allows families to participate in the Christmas story in a fun way by following a digital map of the 14 locations where angels can be found, culminating in a nativity scene in a Kingsgate shop window.

"It's been a pleasure and an uplifting experience to work with other local churches in this way and see the angels growing in numbers."

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Throughout the season, we'll bring you stories that highlight how church members around the country are celebrating the birth of Jesus and sharing their faith, hope and love with everyone in their communities.

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