As the doors of Ripon Cathedral closed in March its development team was tasked with creating and implementing a new project to support the community during lockdown. As COVID-19 tightened its grip ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ was born – in partnership with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
With the cathedral out of bounds, even for private prayer – the project offered a unique opportunity for people to pray for their loved ones and for key workers by sending prayers online through the cathedral website – to be said by the cathedral’s priests during online services. The second phase of this project was the creation of thousands of angels to reflect the prayers offered.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the cathedral put out an appeal for volunteers to help with this and within four weeks around 10,000 origami angels had been created. The volunteers, whose ages range from three to 90 – all live in the area covered by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A number of schools have also got involved with making angels for this project and these will be on display during August.
The third and final phase of the project is to create an impressive art installation of origami angels that will fly over the nave of Ripon Cathedral; it’s aim – to inspire quiet reflection and contemplation during these challenging times.
From Monday 20 July volunteers are invited to come to the cathedral to help with the preparation of the angels ready for hanging from Monday 27 July. The angels will be installed on a great net, fixed in place at height across the nave.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL said:
We never anticipated that this project would capture the imagination of people right across the region in the way that it has.
The thousands of angels speak of gratitude and prayer; adorning the wonderful space that is the nave of Ripon Cathedral, they will be a spectacular arrangement of beauty for all, and an expression of praise for the faithful.
If you would like to be a part of Ripon Cathedrals angel attraction, please visit https://www.riponcathedral.org.uk/pray-for-our-angels/ or visit the cathedral during August and September to see the incredible work of the volunteers from the cathedral community and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
To donate your angel go to https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12976
The exhibition opens on Saturday 1 August and remains until Tuesday 29 September, the feast of St Michael and All Angels.