VIDEO: Thousands flock to Festival of Angels at King’s Lynn chapel
PUBLISHED: 18:01 17 June 2012 | UPDATED: 07:59 18 June 2012
Archant © 2012
Walking around St Nicholas’ Chapel this weekend, some young Sci-Fi fans would have been forgiven for thinking they had been placed into an episode of Doctor Who.
Some 81 hand-crafted angels adorned the historic building in King’s Lynn for a special festival and a few didn’t look too dissimilar to the Weeping Angels you’d see in the popular BBC show.
There were also angels made entirely of recycled materials, one made out of vegetables and another made out of old copies of the EDP which all made for out-of-this-world viewing.
King’s Lynn mum Alison Irwin, 42, took her two sons to the event and said it was a great day out for the whole family.
“All the angels were brilliant,” she said. “There was such a variety and we’ve had a fantastic time. I hope they do this again next year
She added: “There were a couple of angels my boys thought looked like the angels from Doctor Who so they tried not to blink when they saw them which was quite funny.”
The angels were specially created by individuals, companies and organisations for the event which opened from 11am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.
As well as getting a closer look at the magnificent angels, there were also plenty of angel-related activities and stalls throughout both days of the event, which was organised by the Friends of St Nicholas.
Friends’ secretary Adrian Parker said: “We had around 2,000 people in over the two days and we are really pleased that there has been such a great response from the public. People have been amazed to come in here and see such a variety on display.
“The creativity from the 81 businesses, clubs, schools and societies has been one of my highlights from the weekend.
“We had no idea if people would be going their angels large or small and there have been some really artistic things people have done.
“There are a couple of fallen angels about but the vast majority of them were good angels! The one which had quite a lot of attention was the one made by Springwood High School pupils which looked like the angel was screaming.”
The chapel, on St Ann’s Street, is at the centre of a major restoration programme and fundraisers have been working hard to secure a Lottery grant.
The Friends of St Nicholas’ Chapel have been working with the community to raise the money needed to secure the Lottery money. Both figures are higher than first anticipated.
Mr Parker continued: “Our fundraising thermometer outside might show we are halfway to reaching out target but we now anticipate the project will cost £2m which means we need to raise £300,000.
“When the campaign started we were looking at a grant of £1.5m and we needed to raise £210,000 but the costs keeping rising. Having said all of that, considering how long the campaign has been going, we’ve done brilliantly to raise £110,000 so far.”
The EDP angel was completed in partnership with King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust and Norfolk Training Services and was positioned in the front of the chapel.
But Mr Parker said the most popular angel was the one provided by the Bank House Hotel, based in King’s Lynn, which was made out of vegetables.
Asked if the event will become an annual event, Mr Parker replied: “At the moment the present committee are looking back in exhaustion but also relief that things have gone so well.
“The second time will be easier and we could certainly try to get closer to 100 angels. It will be interesting to know what the public and people who made the angels feel about this event happening again next year.”
The chapel, which is more than 600 years old, is owned by the Churches Conservation Trust and the project was launched by chairman Loyd Grossman earlier this year.
The American-British TV presenter described the chapel in the heart of Lynn as an internationally important jewel in the crown of the Churches Conservation Trust.
The £2m project will include the re-roofing of the nave and south aisle while adding insulation. Further funds are needed while around £120,000 will provide a heating system and £30,000 will light the carved angels in the ceiling.
The Churches Conservation Trust, whose president is the Prince of Wales, has 341 buildings. St Nicholas’ Chapel is the biggest and it has managed the building, which is still consecrated, for more than 20 years.
For more information about the trust see www.visitchurches.org.uk