The decision to make a wall hanging came from members of the Wednesday Lunch Group, held at St James Church. Members of the group came from other denominations and other Parishes, not only in our Diocese. There were twenty-one ladies all novices who wished to work at "something" together.
A visit to Alston Hall, Preston introduced us to Marion Hatton, a talented needlewoman who designed our Wall Hanging for us, from ideas given by the ladies of the group.
We were given three or four sessions plus homework before we began work on individual areas of the design. We were taught various techniques including numerous ways of dying silks, painting silks, embroidery and machine sewing crafts. This enabled us to produce a Wall Hanging that everyone could enjoy. This was achieved through yeat patience and understanding by our teacher.
It was a mammoth task and when we commenced the Wall Hanging in January 2000, many a stitch was done and undone. We each chose our area of work What a thrill when after much practice at church and at home we reached our goal. There was much faith and hope surrounding all and a sense that the Lord was ever present at all our meetings; those who couldn't sew were sewing.
The design of the Wall Hanging focuses on the church as the central pillar of our community, set in a large free with its branches stretched out wide, dividing the individual designs. Scenes from around the Parish of St James, Village School, Ruff Woods, Carnival, Martin Mere, Old and New Water Towers and crops grown by local farmers. Birds, animals and flowers are all included in this wonderful Wall Hanging. The last stitch was sewn on the Wall Hanging on 8dl December 2000. We were all thrilled when it was completed. Our achievement will also be included in Stitch 2000 at Hampton Court. We obtained the services of Ray Harrison, a local joiner who matched the poles that would secure the wall hanging, with the woodwork of the church.
Having obtained a faculty barely a week before, we unveiled the Wall Hanging for all to see on 19th December 2000. The colour and pictures on the Wall Hanging add a lovely warmth to our church.
Our achievement gave us all a great sense of belonging; the fellowship and friendship that developed throughout the year continues on. We have been truly blessed.
When we asked our Vicar's permission for a Lunch Group his remark was "yes, as long as it is for the right reasons". There is no doubt that this proved to be right. Working with Christians together has been an experience none of us would have missed and our lives have been made richer for it.