1600-leaf tapestry puts Christian imagery at heart of church hall in Scotland

06 July 2018

DAVID SUTHERLAND

THREE years in the making, a tapestry containing 1600 leaves created by children was unveiled in the hall of St Ninian’s, Troon, last month.

The Great Troon Wall Hanging was dedicated by the Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, Dr Gregor Duncan, on 13 June. It has been assembled in the hall by teams of needleworkers and embroiderers during the past three years.

Among the community members who contributed to it were local schoolchildren, all of whom contributed at least one leaf to the tapestry, which is based on the Tree of Life.

Designed by Tizzy Cottingham, a member of the congregation, it was inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which hangs in the Scottish Parliament, and tells the story of the country’s history.

DAVID SUTHERLANDA close-up picture of the tapestry

It is the response of St Ninian’s to the concern, voiced by the Rector, Canon Tom Montgomery, that the hall, a popular community facility, lacked any Christian imagery. It had been, he said, a way to “bring people together to share conversations and explore relationships, and would celebrate the key values of the church and the community that it sought to serve”.

Explaining the design, Ms Cottingham said: “In the earth around the deep roots of the tree are many small animals and insects identified by the children through their Eco School project. There are birds in the sky, boats in the sea, and two helicopters flying past to mark the local Search and Rescue facility. Suitable biblical texts are interwoven in the wall hanging, carefully chosen for relevance to the art and to the spirit of community co-operation.”

During the making, one child was overheard saying: “I love it that I’ve been able to sew on an autumn leaf, and it’s cool that it’ll be there on the wall for ever. I’ve sewn it well — this autumn leaf will never fall off.”

DAVID SUTHERLANDMembers of the congregation of St Ninian’s, Troon, work on The Great Troon Wall Hanging, a 16-00 leaf tapestry

Church Times: about us

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read up to twelve articles for free. (You will need to register.)