Since a child I have believed that we each have a guardian angel watching over us and protecting us. Learning prayers to my guardian angel from a beautifully illustrated children’s prayer book is something that has stayed with me.
Over recent days there has been much debate about whether the BBC were right to broadcast Songs of Praise from a migrant camp in Calais. Around five thousand people are in this camp, after being displaced from countries including Syria, Libya and Eritrea. Around a hundred of them attend Sunday services at a makeshift church, built from canvas, sheets of corrugated iron, plastic bags, and bearing crosses at its highest points. The migrants have named their church and offer prayers to St Michael as he is a guardian angel who is “there to protect us all”.
Psalm 91:10 says: “No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” For me, the use of the word tent in this verse has much more of a 21st century feel about it!
I imagine the debate about the appropriateness of this particular programme will continue for a little while. Many have expressed their support for the BBC and how the programme has humanised those people who find themselves at such camps. Many have felt grateful for being able to witness the power and diversity of the Christian faith. One resident from Kent crosses the Channel to distribute food and when asked why she does this, simply replied: “That’s what the church is for.”
Julie Ridgway, Head of Finance