Advent Day 23: Knitted angels guide the way at Edinburgh church

A community of knitters at Willowbrae Parish Church in Edinburgh have made colourful angels for those in the local community to take home this Christmas.

Angels on the railings outside a church beside the words Joy To The World
The close-knit community have been incredibly enthusiastic about the eye-catching display.

The knitters, spread out across the local parish area, started casting on their wool earlier in the summer.

Inspired by other churches’ knitted displays, Glenda, a church member, and Zoe, ministries development staff member, wanted to do something creative for their community.

“Glenda started to distribute the pattern through a knitting group that meets in the church and we shared it further afield,” Zoe said.

“The local doctors surgery even shared the pattern which was posted on Facebook.

“Patterns and wool were made available in our church centre where local Brownies, Guides and Rainbows meet along with other groups.

“The wool and patterns started to be taken away and angels started to be returned.”

The group are not quite sure how many angel makers contributed, but by Wednesday 11 December there were just under 200 angels ready to be given out.

The knitting group gathered together the angels, straightened out their halos, attached gold string for hanging and added a special label to each one, inscribed with the line from Luke 1:30: ‘Do not be afraid…’

“I decided to get a quote from Archangel Gabriel himself, so that people could take the Christmas story home with them,” Zoe added.

Take the Christmas story home with you this Christmas

One of the knitted angels
The knitting group gathered together the angels, straightened out their halos, attached gold string for hanging and added a special label to each one, inscribed with the line from Luke 1:30: ‘Do not be afraid…’
Angels on the railings outside a church
Locals are collecting angels from the railings outside Willowbrae Parish Church.
A knitting pattern guide
The group are not quite sure how many angel makers contributed, but by Wednesday 11 December there were just under 200 angels ready to be given out.

The close-knit community have been incredibly enthusiastic about the eye-catching display.

“Our community have loved this gentle generous gesture. People have shared wonderful stories with us,” Zoe said.

“One local woman told us that she plans to take an angel to her grandparent who is in hospital and will miss the Christmas Eve service that she always attends at Willowbrae Parish Church.

“A family who have been coming to our toddler group are moving up north but are taking an angel with them to always have at Christmas on their tree to remember the community they were a part of.

“People really appreciated the surprising scene with rows of angels saying ‘do not be afraid’ when they were heading to and from voting in our Church hall during the General Election, too.

“In the past, we have delivered Christmas cards and created Christmas leaflets and, although knitting angels took a lot more effort to produce, we know that our neighbours have appreciated the effort and it is lovely to find a way to share the joy that we as a church celebrate at this time of year.”

Throughout the season, locals are collecting the angels from the railings outside Willowbrae Parish Church.

Come along to learn about the Christmas story during the Willowbrae Parish Church Christmas Eve Watch Night services at 6:30pm and 11:30pm, as well as the Christmas Day service at 10:30am.

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