Angels delight: Knitters needed to help return Saddleworth visitors

SADDLEWORTH’S Christmas Angels are spreading their wings this year with a little help from their mere mortal creators.

When it came to ‘must have’ items last festive period, the hand-knitted angels were top of many people’s wanted lists.

Within days of appearing on the streets of Uppermill, the creations were snapped up.

The Independent was inundated with requests when we publicised a small band of angels had landed in our High Street office.

Best of all the little figures in different colours, produced by Churches Together in Saddleworth, were free.

Each one also carried a tag containing a simple, unique message such as be strong, life is for living and blessings be with you.

On the reverse of the card, the message reads: ‘Please take me, I’m free. Have a happy Christmas. From Churches Together in Saddleworth’.

Now, the angels are planning a return, with an increase in their numbers and over a wider distribution area.

Gary Ridley is minister at Uppermill Methodist Church and along with his wife Debbie instigated the angels touching down in Saddleworth.

“The distribution of the Christmas Angels around Uppermill last year was greatly appreciated by the community,” he told the Independent.

“In fact, we know news of them spread outside of the area. We heard one story of the angels being the topic of conversation by people on a bus in Pontefract.

“We will be doing it again this year. But this time we are extending it into some of the other Saddleworth villages, including Delph, Greenfield and others.

“They will be available around mid-December. Please take one with our warmest good wishes.

“They will be placed in the shops and around the streets and parks to pick up.”

It is hoped upwards of 1,500 angels can be produced in the next five or six weeks providing there are sufficient volunteer knitters.

Nearly 50 people from the various church denominations were involved in the knitting marathon in 2017.

“The more we have the better,” said Rev Ridley. “If you can help call Rev Gary or Debbie Ridley on 01457 872172 and we will make sure you receive a pattern.”

The origins of the angels are conflicting but grew considerably out of the North Shields and Whitley Bay Methodist circuit.

In 2014, they knitted 2,870. By 2015 that had risen to 20,586 and in 2016, nearly 46,000 angels had been produced.

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