In a series of spontaneous gestures, local churches have adapted the traditional image of angels into different forms – from full life-sized figures to knitted versions and even graffiti depictions.
It draws from the nativity story in which angels appeared to the Shepherds bringing “good tidings of great joy”.
In Wellington, Somerset, large illuminated angels have been placed all over the town by St John the Baptist church as part of a project called The Angels of Hope.
Teenagers have also been encouraged to help, sending every resident who receives care a small angel with an accompanying card and local people have been nominated as ‘Angels of Hope’.
In Atherton in Greater Manchester, St Philip’s School joined forces with members of four local congregations to make 800 paper and more than 100 knitted angels.
The knitted angels are being taken to local care homes while the papers angels now fill St Phillip’s church.
“The knitted angels will be taken to three local care homes next week, I’m super thankful to the creativity of a small group who turned an idea into something incredible.
“We are opening church during the next two weeks for people to come and take a look and ponder,” explained team vicar, the Revd Tracy Marshall.
In Hoxton, in the Diocese of London, St Anne’s church has seen its own angel-based Christmas initiative go global.
Armed with artistic creativity, an Instagram account, and support from locals Fr Ben Bell encouraged parishioners to place angels across the parish.
Reflecting the realities of his parish, one of the first angels was drawn over a bullet hole in a shop front next to St Anne’s where there had been a shooting just days before.
The ‘angel bombing’ has attracted international attention - and now an Indonesian project has sprung up called ‘Angels over Jakarta.’