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28 October 2014

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Advent wall hanging
Artwork in Huntingdon Methodist Church

Created in faith

Two friends employed their faith and their needlework skills to create a series of banners and wall hangings which now sit proudly in their local church.

The walls of Huntingdon Methodist Church are hung with colourful banners hand-sewn by members of its congregation who know a thing or two about needlework.

Sue Tindall
Sue Tindall

Sue Tindall, and her friend Sue Wright, wanted to brighten up their church which sits at the heart of the market town in Cambridgeshire.  Both are serious about their faith - and their favourite hobby - and came up with a solution which combined the two perfectly.

Inspired by the hymn The Holly and The Ivy, they decided to create a wall hanging to celebrate Advent - a five-part work of art which represents all the elements of the Advent Story.

Sue Tindall explains: "From the planning stage to completion, it took over a year - but a lot of that time was spent in the planning.  Once we were happy with the designs it wasn't so bad. 

"We came up with the designs together, with some help from my husband," continues Sue.  "I remember that we were sat in Bury St Edmunds Cathedral - in their coffee bar - and we just decided all of a sudden, 'Wow! This is how it's got to be!'

"I enjoy showing my faith through the banners and hopefully getting other people inspired through them"
Sue Tindall

"The cathedral's a beautiful place to go, and we looked at the banners there which gave us some ideas.  It was just very nice and peaceful - and that helped us. The initial designs were scribbled on a serviette right there and then, and we developed our ideas from that."

Sue Wright was in the process of moving from Cambridgeshire to Devon at the time, so although both women were at first able to work on their creation together, after a while they had to come up with a different arrangement if they were to finish the project.

Sue Tindall explains: "We actually sewed by post!  My friend would sew a bit and I would sew a bit and we'd post it back to each other.

"We also worked on individual pieces to make our lives slightly easier, but there were still times when we could get together - which is something we both enjoy doing."

Advent wall hanging
Christmas day panel

The five wall hangings are designed to be hung in the church in time for each Sunday in Advent, with the fifth and final piece reserved for Christmas Day.

The first banner is decorated with images of adults and children surrounded by Sue's much-loved holly; the second represents the Prophets who foretold the coming of Jesus.  It is decorated with the words hope, peace, love, joy and faith - surrounded by ivy leaves. The third panel is a landscape of hills, trees and water, and represents the work of John the Baptist. 

On the final Sunday of Advent, the fourth panel is added, showing the Virgin Mary knelt in prayer.

The final piece of artwork is hung in time for Christmas Day and shows Jesus asleep in his crib beneath the Star of Bethlehem.

Part of the Millennium banner
Part of the Millennium banner

The Advent hangings are by no means the only pieces of art created by the two Sues. The walls of Huntingdon Methodist Church are decorated at various times of the year with banners depicting Easter, the harvest, Lent and Remembrance Day to name just a few.

One of the largest pieces of artwork on display was created by the pair to mark the Millennium.  It shows the church at the heart of the community, surrounded by panels representing various church groups and activities.

The detailed needlework and the scale of the hangings makes it quite an undertaking for the two women, but Sue Tindall insists that she loves sewing and feels particularly inspired working through the medium of church banners.

"I get enjoyment out of seeing people enjoy them.  I love sewing - and this is sewing on a completely different scale," she says. "I enjoy showing my faith through the banners and hopefully getting other people inspired through them as well."

You can see some of the art created for their church by Sue Tindall and Sue Wright in our gallery.

Share your inspiration

If you've been similarly inspired by your faith, why not tell us about it and we can share your artwork with others in an online gallery.  You don't have to have created the artwork yourself - it might be a painting, or a piece of sculpture in your local church that you find inspirational.

Simply send your digital photographs to the email address below, telling us a little bit about yourself, the artwork and what inspired you or inspires you.

last updated: 18/12/06
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