Church Kneelers

Church Kneelers

It was in the early 1990’s that the Kneeler Project began. A group of about a dozen people led by Deanna Pease made a start on replacing the rather tired Rexine covered hassocks which were then in use. The kits came from Jacksons of Hebdon Bridge.

Ron Eames with some of his handywork

At first just a single design was used, a white rose on a Spode blue background, 
reminiscent of the “Sunne in Splendour” emblem in the Celure, the canopy above the chancel steps.

At first just a single design was used, a white rose on a Spode blue background, 
reminiscent of the “Sunne in Splendour” emblem in the Celure, the canopy above the chancel steps.

Later several were made for the choir stalls, and the bellringers, with the words ‘Sing to the Lord’, and others portraying a bell. 

On 10th December 1995 Pat Westbrook dedicated 67 new kneelers worked and/or donated by, members of St Margaret’s, and by 1997 100 kneelers were in use. Two cushions for the clergy stalls were designed by Joan Coates, based on Psalm 150, which lists a variety of instruments including the trumpet, lute and harp, and other hassocks now began to be worked with individual designs chosen by their donors.

While Pat was here the group embarked on a fresh project, the long kneelers for the chancel steps. Begun in March 1998, they were finished in December the following year, when 698,000 stitches had been worked.

The only man in the original group was Ron Eames, who had gone along to the first meeting with his wife Dorothy. She had always been a keen needlewoman, and after Ron had watched her complete several tapestry kit pictures, he decided to have a try himself. His first was a horse’s head, which was soon followed by others which were usually donated to charities for use as prizes.

Since then Ron has completed a great many more kneelers, usually at the request of members of St Margaret’s, perhaps to remember a loved one or just as a memory of an event or an Regiment or Society. Most of our newest kneelers are Ron’s work, and as his “order book” is always full we will probably see more of his work in Church.

Ron’s latest kneelers including one in honour of Bomber Command and another for the 2012 Olympic Games and his most recent in honour of the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2.

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