The Valley of Angels Blog

Valley of Angels/24-7 Prayer Gathering | Bangor Abbey, 19th August

August is a big month for the town of Bangor, and at its height where better than the surrounds of Bangor Abbey to gather and reflect?

And so, on the 19th of August you are invited to join with people from across the area to think and pray about Bangor, along with finding out more about both the Valley of Angels festival, and 24-7 Prayer Ireland.

There’s a Facebook Event for the night available for signup, and a map of the Abbey’s location is featured below.

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Psalmody in Bangor Abbey | Part 3 – Norman Hamilton

Dr. Norman Hamilton, PCI, brought the Psalmody discussions full circle by addressing the character of Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick, and the invaluable example and lessons he gave to the church which would follow in his wake.

You can also view previous episodes of the Psalmody series (in three parts) using the links below.

Part 1 – Harold Miller on Bangor’s Significance
Part 2 – Donal McKeown on Columbanus


Valley of Angels Wins Bangor Business Award

It’s official: last night, Valley of Angels Ltd. came home as winners of the Creative Industries category at the Bangor Business Awards 2011.

Besides the complete shock, the team would like to express their thanks for the judging panel’s kind praise. Whilst clearly, the aim of the 2011 Festival was not to win awards, we feel it pays a fitting tribute to everyone who was involved across Bangor and North Down in pulling the inaugural festival, in particular, together. Each event required dedication and hard work from volunteers right across the board, along with businesses, groups and churches giving of their time and resources. The Valley of Angels has, to this point, been entirely funded and resourced in this way. This award therefore recognises their effort and commitment to promoting the incredibly rich cultural heritage of this area.

Congratulations everyone!


Psalmody in Bangor Abbey | Part 2 – Donal McKeown

In the second of our three-parter, Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Down & Connor, picks up where Harold Miller left off in the previous episode.

Bishop Donal looks at the story of perhaps Bangor’s most noted missionary, Columbanus, who went out from the area in around 590AD, and consequently founded monasteries across Europe. He tried to separate the man from the myth, and asks what we can learn from his life and efforts.


Stephen Mitchell | Angelic Buskers

Stephen is best known as the bassist in Belfast band, Feet For Wings. But he’s also got some tunes of his own, and we put him on the spot as he finished up his Angelic Buskers set and asked to hear one. Despite a prevailing wind and a fair bit of heckling from intrigued miscreants, he pulled it off.


Valley of Angels now a Finalist for Bangor Business Awards

Having made it to the shortlisting stage last week, we have just heard that the Valley of Angels Festival Ltd. has now become a Finalist for the Bangor Business Award!

After all the applications were gathered in by the Awards committee, it seems seven companies, including ourselves, were shortlisted for consideration in the Creative Industries Award category. Now, three remain, and Valley of Angels goes through with the other two finalists to the gala awards dinner on the 20th of June.

Massive thanks to all supporters of the Festival, for helping us get this far. It’ll be a nail-biting night on the 20th, but we’re chuffed to bits to even get this far. Now, where’s that tux…


Psalmody in Bangor Abbey | Part 1 – Harold Miller

Another of the features of the 2011 Festival was the ‘Psalmody’ event in Bangor Abbey on Friday 6th.

The Abbey was open throughout the day, with visitors invited to sit and listen to some traditional sacred music, and try and imagine the atmosphere of one of Northern Ireland’s oldest sites of worship in times gone by. In addition, at lunchtime guests speakers were invited to offer some reflections on just how big a cultural impact Bangor made on Western Europe and beyond.

First up was the Church of Ireland’s Bishop Harold Miller, who gave a few brief thoughts on the big picture of Bangor’s significance.

Watch out for more videos from this event, featuring Donal McKeown (Bishop of Down and Connor) and Rev. Dr. Norman Hamilton (PCI Moderator.)


Valley of Angels shortlisted for Bangor Business Award

We’re very pleased to confirm that the 2011 Festival, held at the start of last month, has already been shortlisted for the Bangor Business Awards 2011.

Valley of Angels are shortlisted in the Creative Industries Award category, which is a new category for this year’s awards. As such, it’s new ground for everyone involved! The winners are to be announced at the awards gala, held in a marquee right on Bangor Sea Front on June 20th.

As the Valley of Angels festival has only come into existence this year, the festival planners are incredibly pleased to have made it to the shortlisting stage. We would like to take the opportunity to thank not only those who were involved and made the weekend so special, but all of you who came along and got stuck in to all areas of the festival fun.

So, if you happen to be a fan of all that’s been going on, why not take thirty seconds to click through and ‘Like’ the Bangor Business Awards Facebook Page, and maybe drop them a line about who sent you…


Firsty? Pop-Up Exhibition

One of the exciting parts of the Valley of Angels festival was the chance to facilitate a unit in Bangor’s Flagship Shopping Centre, where Firsty? put on a collaborative pop-up exhibition for the festival weekend.

Firsty? is a networking group, founded in Bangor, for creatives: artists, musicians, poets, photographers, graphic designers, and anyone else creative. All are welcome: no one person runs the show, and there are no membership forms, committees, cliques or rules (except playing nicely!)

The aim is simply to get creatives out of the house, networking, skill-sharing and helping each other out.

Firsty? meet twice a month downstairs in the Rabbit Rooms, Bangor, on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7pm. The group is initially Bangor based, but events can be organised anywhere.

A great starting point is the Firsty? group of Facebook, and the Firsty? Artist Page where members build albums to promote their work.

Members also get commission-free shows, as well as access to materials and framing discounts.