Author: Bible Society, 13 December 2016
Do you believe in angels? It turns out 1 in 3 people in the UK do according to a recent poll we commissioned. One in three people believe in angels and the same proportion feel they have a guardian angel watching over them.
Although women are more likely to believe in angels than men, at 39% and 26% accordingly, the proportion who have seen or heard an angel is consistent at 11% for women and 8% for men.
Interestingly, the one in three people who believe in angels, has remained consistent over the past six years (31% in 2010 and 32% in 2016).
We heard Margaret Jones, from Fleetwood in Lancashire, who felt an angel by her side twenty years ago. Margaret was singing in the choir, with her eyes closed, at Emmanuel, her regular church on a Sunday. As she sang, she says, she felt someone touch her arm and hold her hand.
‘I felt the pressure of what seemed like a human hand touching my own. As I was standing on the edge of the choir I assumed that the lady, Deborah, who had been playing the organ, had come over to join us; so thought nothing of it. The hand then left mine and a few moments later I opened my eyes and was surprised to see that Deborah was still sitting at the organ – she wasn’t there beside me.’
After the church service finished, a member of the congregation, Bessie Heaton, said to Margaret: ‘An angel was here and he was stood next to you Margaret and touched you on your hand.’
I felt the pressure of what seemed like a human hand touching my own
A few years ago, Margaret then also saw two angels standing over her husband, as he lay asleep in bed. Despite what her husband said later, Margaret is adamant she was not dreaming.
‘I was awake and just lying there then they appeared: two beautiful beings with wings dressed in white. What struck me most was that their hair was golden – it shone – they were just beautiful. Then they disappeared through the headboard. This always makes me laugh as it sounds silly, but they really did.’
Margaret then woke up her husband, Vernie, and told him. He said: ‘You daft woman, you were dreaming’.
Margaret laughs, ‘I know what I saw and I know I wasn’t dreaming.’
Theologian-in-Residence Paula Gooder explores the idea of guardian angels from a biblical perspective and considers angelic encounters.