I started to write this from my mum’s front room the day after Christmas Angels hit Tynemouth, never did I dream of a response like we have had over something so small. It has truly been remarkable!
I want to thank a few folk who have been instrumental in making it happen.. First of all I want to thank my friend Gill who came up with the pattern in the first place, she still has her prototype! Also the knitters! Without you it wouldn’t have been possible. Next the staff of the circuit for going with me on this, and a particular shout out to David who has really got behind it and helped in numerous ways. I also want to thank the folks at Sunday@thepub for knitting, for encouraging, for getting involved. And to Noreen Reece from St John’s for being so proactive and using her knowledge of the media to get the word out.
And so what was all the fuss about… The stories are beginning to come in as to the effect these Angels have had. From strangers in tears as it reminded them of incidents and situations in their lives. To people who have been moved by the angels as they thought about those they have loved and lost, to folks in care homes who have cuddled angels, to those angels that ended up next to folks in hospital at difficult times in their lives. And to the many stories of just brightening up commuters day as they travelled to work. The many photos and comments on social media have been lovely, some of them are enclosed for you to see.
The beauty of social media is that you can share things very quickly and the word gets out, so as the article in the Chronicle went live on its website, so it was propelled in to the world of twitter and Facebook. I have lost count of the amount of shares this article had, from the website alone it was read and shared at the time of me writing this 1624 times! If you haven’t seen it here it is Not to mention the ‘likes’ on facebook and re-tweets. And once again as the Look North episode was completed we were then able to share the link to that as well. It was also great to read it in the News Guardian once Christmas and the New Year had passed. So it’s truly been an amazing response.
The message behind Christmas Angels was to subvert the secular Christmas and to get folks to think about the Christmas Story and ultimately to be a blessing to the community where these Angels had been left. God works in mysterious ways and God has certainly spoken through the creativity of the folks in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit.
So I wonder what you have learned? For me… I have learned again to trust mine and others imagination, that somehow as I dream of new and creative ways to engage the world with the Jesus story that God honours our work. This is the third creative project like this we have tried, Christmas Present – Ordinary people taking on the persona of the key Characters in the nativity story. Pictures of Love – trying to find God in the everyday.
I wish the church would use its imagination more… it’s like we train ourselves not to use it, but as children that’s what made life so special, somehow we are still children in the eyes of God and I believe we should maybe act like it more… be more imaginative more creative, be more loving and trusting, see the good in the things and people around us… maybe if that was the natural state of the followers of Jesus more people would want to come and play! God Bless, Rob
See below for contact info and more photos. And on the following website link Christmas Angels it will give you all the information about it. The pattern, the tags. If you decide to have a go at doing this in your locality we would love to hear from you!
Photos below by Matthew Todhunter with thanks.