Angels build bridges between faiths

Groups of children and older adults from Thornhill, Overthorpe, Thornhill Lees and Savile Town have met to talk and think about angels and the role they play in each other’s cultures.

Artists and children with the feathered globe at Thornhill

Working with two local artists as part of a Kirklees Heritage and Community Engagement project, they have created a globe of white feathers which has just gone on display in St Michael and All Angels church, Thornhill.

Each cluster of feathers in the globe contains a message from a child wishing something good for their community or the world. Light projections and the sound of the children’s voices add to the installation and there is written work by the children on display too.

The children, from four local schools, learned about the history and significance of angels in the different faiths from angels like Michael and Gabriel in the Christian faith who deliver messages, guide, protect, strengthen and encourage people, to the two angels at our side in the Islamic faith, one who makes a note of all the good we do and the other who notes our weaknesses.

The children and adults were also introduced to human angels like Dr Barnardo and Florence Nightingale and were encouraged to think about how each us can act as angels for each other in our streets and in our communities.

Vicar of Thornhill, the Revd Sue Clarke said: “It's been difficult to capture the real beauty of this project, the wonderfully inspiring things the children have said and the way they have been able to share their great insights about the world and relationships.

“But it has truly been a project that has touched people’s hearts and minds and continues to move people who see the feather globe - especially when they realise some of what it represents,” she added.

The globe will be on display in the church until mid- September and the church is open every Wed and Sun.


Pictured above are the two artists, Shanaz Gulzar and Steve Manthorp of Adept with some of the children from the four schools and their feather globe.

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