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In the Presence of the Angels…  
 
   
 
   
  Visitors to the Abbey Church are soon aware that they are in the presence of Angels. The Church is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, as were many hilltop churches.
The finest stone angels are perhaps those in the nave. The whole Church was expensive for its time, costing £45,000. Much of the money was used in the design and production of the carvings which did not just come out of a Victorian architect's pattern book. Angels are everywhere - someone once counted 156! With harps, cymbals and pipes the heavenly orchestra accompanies monks and worshippers singing the praises of God.
 
 

Perhaps the finest stained glass is in the window at the East End. In its five lights we see Belmont's patron saint, Michael, with his shield and sword in hand, trampling the dragon underfoot. To the right is gentle Gabriel who brought the good news of the Incarnation, and to the left is Raphael, who figures in the Book of Tobit and is the angel associated with healing. Around them are angels representing the nine choirs of angels, and in the rose window above more angels form a swirling stream around the central figure of Christ.

St Benedict himself encouraged his monks to be aware of the Divine Presence everywhere, and of his angels watching over us especially as we pray:
“Let us be mindful of the Prophet's words... chant the psalms with understanding! and yet again: In the presence of the angels I will bless you. (Psalm 137). We should consider, then, with what reverence we ought to stand in the sight of God and of his angels, and chant the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices”.
Rule of St Benedict Ch.19