Angels at St Peter's

Angels on the rood screenRecently Leslie wrote about Angels, but he was surprised when I told him I had counted ninety-six in St Peter's. Where are they all? Well, like the real thing they are not always easily visible, although we all know some are to be seen in the Chancel screen. Here are there actually forty-seven carved in wood, thirty-two playing a variety of musical instruments. Their real counterparts must be giving praise for the empty cross (which stands on top of the screen) and the resurrection, and encouraging us to do the same. It is clear that the musicians at St Peter's must be sustained by their influence.


Cherubs on the organ caseThe young are important, so we can count three cherubs on the organ case, caring for our junior members and learning their own musicianship. In contrast, nearby two angels are looking after the saints who have gone before.


Angel corbelOverseeing everything are the very old and wise stone angels supporting the roof trusses in the nave. Their real counterparts must be contributing to the "oasis of peace" which so many people sense when entering St Peter's.
Angel capital (13th century)Looking carefully at the Transfiguration window in the West Aisle we find that Moses and Elijah, and also St Peter and St James above them, have their own angelic security guard. Above them more angels gather to glorify Jesus. In the South Aisle window the first letters of his name, the Greek IHS, are flanked by two angels. An even more careful look at other windows in the Chancel will reveal the rest, frequently in pairs, each giving a little ray of coloured light to encourage each of us to work together and maintain our contribution to the Lord's work.

Myra Chilvers, January 1997
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 5th July 1997