WHEN the first woman Dean
was appointed to Guildford Cathedral, it quickly became obvious
that although much could be handed over from her predecessor, the
Dean's cope could not.
The cathedral had commissioned five festal copes - for senior
members of the Chapter - to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
cathedral building in 2011.
But when the Very Revd
Dianna Gwilliams succeeded the Very Revd Victor Stock, several
inches' difference in height and a narrower frame meant that the
Dean's cope could not be made to fit.
The textile designer
Polly Meynell said that the cope could not simply be shortened
because it would cut into the design. She spent a year designing
and making a new one to fit.
"If you lay a cope flat,
it is a semi-circle, only kept on by a clasp. On women, it can look
like a tent," she said.
She created a more
tailored shape. "I've tried to soften it. Traditionally, a cope is
a man's garment and that shows.
"You wouldn't get a man
in this new cope," she said.
The cope complements the others, which were all originally
designed by Ms Meynell.