Tapestries

St Peters Church Tapestries

In 1977 the Wardens of St. Peters church suggested that a Ladies Committee be formed to organise the re-covering of the pew seats and kneelers in the church.  With kind permission of the Seigneur and Mrs Beaumont, the cushions of the choir stalls were begun, incorporating a pattern traced from the floor tiles of the chancel.  This became known as the ‘Seigneur’s Tile Pattern’ and may not be used by other churches without permission.  Members of the congregation worked it in shades of russet and cream on a dark blue background.

In 1978 the Ladies Committee asked the owners of the pews whether they would finance the cost of materials to re-cover their pew seats and kneelers, and the Committee volunteered to do the work.  There was an immediate response and the owners were given a choice of designs, incorporating motifs from Tenement crests and coats of arms, with the name of the Tenement worked into the seats.  People from all over the Island came forward to do the work, nearly a fifth of the population being involved.  A weekly meeting was set up to give out wools and help beginners with the designs.  Ladies made up the majority of the workers, but some men joined in, and classes were also held to teach the schoolchildren tapestry.  Visitors hearing of the project also offered to take work home, returning it the following year when they visited the island again.

Once the tapestries for the chancel seats and the main body of the church were completed, the public seating at the rear of the church was begun and designs were evolved using the remains of the wool.  Funds were raised to purchase wool for the background and foam rubber and canvas for the cushions.  During this time a new Priest in Charge was appointed, who suggested that kneelers be provided for all the pews, and 84 kneelers were worked in tapestry and sold to people who wished to commemorate a person or occasion.

On the completion of this work, the Committee became the Ladies Guild of St. Peters church which, in addition to repair and maintenance of the tapestries, now makes articles of knitting, sewing, tapestry, embroidery, soft toys and Christmas cards for orders or sale at the Church Fete in the summer.