Photo from Craven Herald

This is a 'COMMUNITY EFFORT' in which many people from far and wide are using their skills to add colour to an already beautiful village church.

The project started {as many other projects do !} with a successful coffee morning in February '1998 and mushroomed very quickly. People in the parish and beyond have purchased Kneeler kits or created their own designs in memory of loved ones, or just chose a design they liked, and began stitching ! The project grew very swiftly and we now have over 100 Kneelers being worked. Some ladies have completed pew runners for the rear of the church and renovated the Altar runners.

We have also encouraged local organizations and companies to join in this scheme so that they genuinely reflect life in Gisburn Parish at the turn of the century.

It is excellent that many people with no formal connection with the church are taking part and we hope that people will be fired with enthusiasm to keep on stitching and designing to beautify the church even further !

Wendy Grundy

Below is the display of Kneelers for our Exhibition and Dedication Service over the weekend of the 27/28 November 1999

Please be patient large images 


Exhibition Pictures J. Gornall

From Tussocks to Hassocks

From the Church Times, 7th March 1997

In the early church people stood to pray. In the orthodox church they still do. Nonconformists sit. Anglicans and Roman Catholics usually kneel, a posture adopted by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane according to St. Luke. Kneeling for prayer gradually spread during the 12th century. In the Book of Common Prayer we are asked to make our confession ’meekly kneeling upon your knees.’ The 1552 communion service ordains kneeling to receive communion but warns ’thereby no adoration is intended.’ Bishops and princes may have knelt on velvet cushions but ordinary people had kneelers developed from tussocks (like Miss Muffit tuffet) and were stuffed with grass or straw. Hassocks were first defined in 1516 as cushions to rest feet on or ’especially in church to kneel on.’ The word kneeler does not appear until 1848. It is thought that until the end of the 19th century worshippers provided their own kneelers. The kneeler of today was born in the 1930s in Winchester Cathedral which began a scheme for embroidered kneelers for general use. Salisbury followed in 1937, After the war groups of parishioners would plan designs for All the church’s kneelers. The cross-stitched and colour co-ordinated kneeler is the late 20th century’s equivalent of Victorian stained glass.