‘Angels’ at work in the community
Last year, in the run up to Easter, a community group got together to make and distribute 900 angels around the villages of Blidworth and Rainworth. A tag was attached to each angel, which had an inspiring thought on it, and the bible reference from which it was taken.
Lay Minister, Maureen Garner, explains : “St Mary’s, Blidworth and St Simon and St Jude’s, Rainworth wanted to bring together a group of people who would be prepared to work for the good of the community, and to let them know what, as Christians, and as a church family we do within our churches and our villages. We also wanted to find out what else was happening in our villages that we could get involved with. Over a couple of months, we formed a group of people who we call ‘People of Peace’, affectionately known as the POP Group!”
Many members of the community are in the POP group, including a local district and parish councillor, staff from the local community café (which offers training to adults with a learning disability) ; a charity shop manager; the leader of the Rainworth Youth Club, the chair of the Blidworth Together Group, as well as individuals from the churches and the community.
“We are probably about 50/50 church and community members,” continues Maureen. “We meet in the Community Café on a fairly regular basis to plan our activities. I’m very excited by the whole thing, and the fact that we, as a church family have become so much better known in our community. Just engaging people in making angels in the local pub has given the chance for spiritual conversations with several people. Being out with others, as opposed to expecting them to always come to us is one of our aims.”
This group has now become known throughout the community for providing a wonderful ‘Lighting up our Community’ event at Christmas, doing litter picking, and working to let people know about the love of God.
“We had wonderful feedback from last year and people were beginning to ask if we would do it again, so here we are, making angels once more. We are being told how much the messages meant to them in various ways, and, as a result many more people are becoming involved in making them.
“It has given those of us from church the confidence and ability to talk about our faith and the meaning of Easter with those we are meeting outside of church, thus helping us to grow in our own discipleship. It means that lots more people are seeing what Jesus means to us, and that ‘church people’ are not old fuddy-duddies, but are welcoming, loving people, who are keen to be with others, and who are not judging those who do not come to church. We hope we are showing by example.
“As we shower the community with angels during Holy Week, we will be reminding them that Easter is not all about chocolate eggs, and inviting them to come and join us in our celebrations by putting our services on the tags. We hope that people, as they did last year, will put their angels and their stories on social media, so that many more will see what is happening.”
Photos show an angel workshop and some of the finished angels.