Thousands of angels descend on Belper in Christmas ‘gift of love’

Hundreds of knitted angels are appearing on the streets of Belper in a community campaign to spready Christmas cheer.
Hundreds of knitted angels are appearing on the streets of Belper in a community campaign to spready Christmas cheer.
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Knitters and crocheters from Belper and beyond have given a ‘gift of love’ to the town, after crafting 2,000 angels to decorate the streets.

The aim is to bring seasonal cheer to everyone who finds them, and labels have been made by a local printer informing the public that the angels are free to take home.

Anne Clark brought the idea to Belper, after it originated in churches in the North East.

Anne Clark brought the idea to Belper, after it originated in churches in the North East.

Anne Clark first started the project in May, and said: “Thank you to everybody who’s got involved and all the places I’ve asked. There has been so much enthusiasm.

“I think it shows what Belper is all about. People enjoy living in this town and taking part in what happens here. Different communities want to come together. It’s a wonderful place with so many people willing to give their time.

She added: “The angels will be all over the town, in shops, the library, pubs, park and on people’s walk to work.

“I am hoping they all disappear and people will be excited about finding them, and share them social media tagged #xmasangel.”

Knitters Jenny Lesley, Rebekah Rowell, Lynne Christie joined Anne to place their angels on railings on Strutt Street.

Knitters Jenny Lesley, Rebekah Rowell, Lynne Christie joined Anne to place their angels on railings on Strutt Street.

The idea first originated in churches in the north-east, and has been adopted by Belper Churches Together as its Christmas initiative.

But it has captured imaginations throughout the community with hundreds of people getting involved.

Angels have been contributed by a 94-year-old Oxfam volunteer, the town clerk, staff and residents at Spencer Grove Care Home, Positive Horizons Care Company and a church leaders.

The festive spirit has also spread to photography and gardening groups, Transition Belper, craft groups, Creartii Belper, Woollen Woods knitters and crocheters and numerous hobbyists crafting at home.

This knitting group meet regularly at the I Should Cocoa caf�.

This knitting group meet regularly at the I Should Cocoa caf�.

Some of the most productive knitters have made more than 100 of the angels, while non-knitters have helped with adding tags, sorting them into boxes and distributing them for display.

Anne said: “Angels have been collected dropped off at boxes in all of our churches and each week more and more have appeared.

“I don’t know where all of them have come from. People have just passed around the pattern and its grown and grown. I initially got 750 labels made, but had to keep going back for more. It’s amazing.”

She added: “It is a good way to promote the true meaning of Christmas, and God’s gift to the world - not a time of commercialism and excess.

“It hope that these angels will bring back some of the wonder and joy that can so often be missing at this time of year.