On Sunday May 16th, 2016, Right Reverend Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley, lead the unveiling service of the Angel Wings artwork fabricated locally and installed at St Peter’s Church, Cradley by local artist Luke Perry of Industrial Heritage Stronghold.
Local vicar, Reverend Katryn Leciezio, was inspired to provide a piece of tangible public art at St Peter’s Church, Cradley that can be used by everyone visiting the church. Pairing up with local metal basher Luke Perry the idea for the ‘angel wings’ sculpture was formed, reflecting the historical use of angels throughout time to represent guardian spirits; God’s messengers. Luke used traditional metal bashing skills honed in the Black Country to create the sculpture that is based on the real life wings of birds of prey found in and around Great Britain.
The angel wings were dedicated by Bishop Graham “to the people of Cradley for support and encouragement” and are installed directly between the main church entrance door of St Peter’s and the Cradley War Memorial. They act at distance to frame the memorial, therefore providing a fitting tribute to those all men and women from Cradley who have died during conflicts throughout the world.
During the unveiling service the hymns ‘In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful’ and ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ were song and a reading of the poem ‘Angels’ written by Ruth Burgess was given. Both Rev’d Katryn and Luke revealed why the project was inspired to create angel wings in a form that includes a bench where people can site and rest in order to reflect or to celebrate life events. Bishop Graham also gave an amusing account based on his upbringing, revealing how his Scottish Grandmother referred to him as her ‘angel’.
Pictured (right) following the ceremony by MFAA posing with the angel wings is Maisie Pearson, aged 6 years.
Also pictured is local film cameraman Ken Pritchard from Cradley Heath who was on hand to help MFAA members’ record events during the service.
Ken spent most of his working life driving throughout Europe and has a keen interest in film recording. His skills were put to good use in capturing the main service events from a vantage point in the church hall and members will later be able to view the edited movie short on St Peter’s website.