On the 20th May, I was part of the St. Stephen’s Church Tapestry group – 25 women in total – who were given certificates from Archbishop Conti in recognition for our ‘outstanding achievement’ in creating what are now world class tapestries, banners and footstools which are in our St. Stephen’s Church. The Mass was in thanksgiving for the Glory Tapestries and the Redemption Tapestries.
There are 10 tapestries in total, each oneof the ten is made up of 14 individual tapestries. All tapestries are sewn by hand. One square inch takes an hour to sew. The designs, patterns and colours of threads were created by Netta Ewing, Lecturer in art who designed the new interior of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Clyde Street, Glasgow.
The tapestries are very large – some are five feet high and all are at least five feet or more broad. There are two Glory Tapestries depicting: 1. Glory of God – Light in Darkness
2. Glory of Christ – Resurrection Dawn
The other 8 tapestries are The Redemption Tapestries. These The trace the long journey of redemption for the people of Israel in the Old Testament as they travel from the stones and sand of the desert to the fruitfulness of the promised land. In their heart the travel too, from unbelief and apostasy to faith in God and hope in the coming of the Messiah. The 8 Redemption Tapestries are:
1. Abraham – Promise
2. Joseph – – Brotherly love
3. Moses – Mission
4. Exodus – Desert
5. Law – Purification
6. Golden Calf – False gods
7, Joshua – Promised Land
8. Temple – Covenant
Each individual tapestry has been mounted on wood, cut to shape by Gerry Beachy and joined to thirteen others to form one theme. Scaffolding has been ordered in each time a theme is displayed high on the wall of the church and put up by Gerry Beachy.
On Sunday last, Gerry Beachy was given a medal from the pope, not just for his work with the tapestries, but for all his work in the church and his being chauffeur to both Cardinal Winning and Archbishop Conti. All Gerry’s services have been voluntary and everyone was delighted for him to receive a medal from the Pope. The Leader of our tapestry guild, Mary Shields received a medal from the Archbishop which she was asked to wear to represent all of the 25 tapestry guild ladies, who each received ( including myself), a beautiful small certificate which I will frame.
St. Stephen’s got in caterers for the tea and the women of St. Mary’s Parish came to serve tea and coffee and men of the parish served wine.
On the 16th May, 2012, a party of 27 American women who belong to an embroidery guild came from different parts of the USA to see the tapestries and they were full of praise and amazement for the scale and perfection of the work.
They said they had been to many other countries to see embroidery and tapestries and that St. Stephen’s was world class. We have been told that soon, St. Stephen’s Parish will become part of Glasgow’s ‘Open Door Day’, not only for the tapestries, the banners and the alter kneelers, but for the beautiful stained glass windows.
I know this email is a bit long, but I hope you found it interesting.