Angelic weekend at Harpley church

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Church warden, Lucy Brown (left), and PCC secretary, Gina Wagg, with three life size knitted angels
HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Church warden, Lucy Brown (left), and PCC secretary, Gina Wagg, with three life size knitted angels
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The angels were the stars at the weekend as a West Norfolk village church staged a new festive event.

The history of the St Lawrence Church in Harpley was the inspiration for its Christmas angel festival, which was held on Saturday and Sunday.

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Hattie and Heidi Gould, two of the many Harpley primary school pupils who helped make this life size angel

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Hattie and Heidi Gould, two of the many Harpley primary school pupils who helped make this life size angel

Church warden Lucy Brown, who organised the event with parochial church council (PCC) secretary Gina Wagg, said: “We’ve had wedding dress and flower festivals but this is our first angel festival.

“If you look up at the roof of our church you will see 13th century wooden angels.

“During the Reformation they tried to slice off anything remotely decorative but they couldn’t reach our angels and that saved them.”

Visitors were able to get a close-up view of the distant angels with binoculars provided by the church and with the aid of a powerful spotlight handled by PCC member, David Mallow.

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Church warden, Lucy Brown, sets of the few hardy souls who took part in the fun run around the village

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Church warden, Lucy Brown, sets of the few hardy souls who took part in the fun run around the village

The village school’s contribution was an enormous angel with wings made out of hundreds of shredded pieces of manuscript music paper, a mosaic angel and small angels crafted out of paper.

In the chancel, surveying the scene, stood three life size knitted angels loaned to the church for the occasion.

Visitors were encouraged to sew small embroidery angels while, for inspiration, they could watch a slide show explaining the history of the 800-year-old roof top angels. In addition in one church window were stained-glass depictions of yet more angels.

By contrast hanging from the ceiling was an enormous punk angel, designed and built by local artist, Tom Sharp.

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Local artist, Tom Sharp, made a punk angel that towered over the visitors

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Local artist, Tom Sharp, made a punk angel that towered over the visitors

In the Lady Chapel there was a memory corner and sacred space where visitors could stop for a while and reflect and remember their past.

In the body of the church visitors could enjoy refreshments, try to win a tombola prize, buy a range of Christmas crafts or take part in a quiz with the proceeds going towards church funds.

Despite the bitterly cold weather, a small group, equipped with angel wings, also turned out for a flying fun run around the village to celebrate the festival.

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'The sale of crafted Christmas presents proved popular

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'The sale of crafted Christmas presents proved popular

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Des and Sue Mallow admire a stars and angel tree

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Des and Sue Mallow admire a stars and angel tree

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Parochial church council member David Mallow who, with the aid of binoculars and a strong spot light, helped visitors get a close-up view of the distant wooden angels which adorned the church roof

HARPLEY CHURCH ANGEL FESTIVAL'Parochial church council member David Mallow who, with the aid of binoculars and a strong spot light, helped visitors get a close-up view of the distant wooden angels which adorned the church roof