Rainbows and halos - spectacular Angel Festival marks Michaelmas at Sunderland Minster
From giant rainbow Pride wings to tiny knitted halos, an Angel Festival has taken flight at Sunderland Minster.
The first of its kind, the festival took place at the Minster at the weekend and featured the imaginative creations of more than 30 schools and community groups.
Each was tasked with interpreting the theme of angels and the result features everything from angels made from recycled materials by pupils at St Anthony’s to an angel nativity created by pupils from Venerable Bede to a Jacob’s Ladder of angels from one of the church’s community groups.
The Minster is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, as well as Sunderland’s patron saint Benedict Biscop, and the festival coincided with Michaelmas on September 29 which honours St Michael, the archangel.
Reverend Canon Stuart Bain said: “We celebrate Michaelmas every year but this year we decided to do things a bit differently and asked various groups to create their own artworks so we could fill the Minster with angels to celebrate our special saint.
“I had no idea what people would come up with and I’m delighted with the result, a lot of time and creativity has gone into the angels, big and small.”
He added: “We are a very welcoming and inclusive church and we like to welcome everyone through our doors. The word ‘angel’ means messenger and our message to everyone is ‘you are welcome.’”
It’s hoped the Angel Festival will become a regular event at the church.
Sunderland Minster remains open while extensive repairs and renovation works are carried out at the churchyard and Town Park, which is a key feature of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and City Council-backed Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Scheme.
The works will see the creation of seating and landscaped areas at Town Park, the green land which neighbours the Minster.
You can read more about the ongoing works and the progress being made at Town Park here.