SADDLEWORTH is bracing itself for the arrival of a unique heavenly host of Christmas angels.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, the Church of St Chad vocal ensemble missed its regular meetings and to keep in touch with members organisers have created new Christmas angels “choir.”

And they are inviting parishioners and locals who may not be churchgoers to join the heavenly host by making weatherproof angels to pin on railings at the church in Uppermill.

One of the church congregation, Liz Rooke, declared: “We have missed our church choir so much over the last few months so for Christmas we are creating a new choir of Christmas Angels.

“It is being created by parishioners to spread the good news of Christmas across the Saddleworth hills and everyone in the community is invited to join in too.

“People can make a weather-proof angel, any colour, any size, any material and fasten it to the railings outside St Chad's Church from December 1 onward.

“You can attach a message to your angel if you wish, maybe remembering someone special or someone you have missed seeing in lockdown.

“If you are housebound, shielding or unable to get up the hill to church,please make your angel, leave it outside your door and contact me.

“I will arrange for the angel to be collected and taken to St Chad's to join the angelic host,” she added.

Liz can be reached

Meanwhile, talented artist Janet Iles, a member of Kiln Green, Diggle, has crafted a 7ft tall angel to take pride of place outside the chapel.

She said: “The angel is made from bamboo canes wired together, with a polystyrene head (for putting wigs on) which I had already decorated with rope hair for an All Stars production earlier in the year.

“The wings are cardboard covered in a plastic fabric then decorated with white plastic bags to create the feathers.

“The hands are a pair of painted rubber gloves and everything is wired together to make the shape. I have tried to make it completely waterproof.

“The ‘dress’ is two plastic tablecloths which are edged with gold print. I have incorporated some battery lights timed to work six hours out of 24 so it should light up every night once it is in place.”

Rev Canon Sharon Jones said: “Throughout the villages of Saddleworth the sight of angels will light up the darkness during December.

“Outside our church buildings, in shop windows and businesses, in homes across our community there will be choirs of angels.

“Traditionally angels are messengers of God; light bearers; sent by God to heal, to guard, and protect.

“Various projects are springing up across our schools and villages with angel scarecrows, an angel trail and decorations to cheer us all up and remind us even in the frustrations and isolation of lockdown restrictions, Christmas is not ‘cancelled’.

“God does not abandon us. We are surrounded by the angels of God, and held together by the love of God for each and every one of us. God is our light in the darkness. He is our comfort and our hope.

“Make your own angel decorations and hang them in your windows,” she urged.

“The angels come in different guises - not necessarily with wings and sparkles. God comes to us through simple acts of kindness, forgiveness and compassion. Perhaps you could be like an angel to someone else this Christmas?”