A community has been setting their knitting needles clicking and come together to create more than 70 foot of knitted stories in just ten months in a bid to raise money and connect with local people at The Salvation Army’s Warrington Church (corps).
Marjorie Samuel, came up with the idea last Christmas when she was thinking about how to engage with the community. She said: “This year we wanted to do something really different to capture the imagination of people. We run a very busy programme here which supports the local community and we really need to raise funds for some renovations so we can build on our services. It’s really important to us to come together so were looking for something we could do as a collective.
“We settled on the idea to knit bible stories and it very quickly snow balled. Before we knew it we had more than 25 people volunteering to get involved. We even had some people with connections to our church wanting to help who live in Dubai and Australia.”
In total there are 12 scenes, positioned in backdrops which have been specifically designed and assembled by members of the community. The centrepiece is the nativity and the largest scene is The Crucifixion which is nearly 10 foot long and includes 65 figures.
Most scenes have been completed by a team of volunteers, working together and across the exhibition there are 380 individually knitted figures. The group between the ages of 48 and 80 met weekly for a natter and to knit.
Marjorie continued: “We were keen to go into a high level of detail so for the Wedding at Cana there are individual flowers, and grapes, all knitted. In the nativity scene we were keen to create a flock of sheep so knitted 60 of them. It’s been a real community effort.
“We all helped each other and learnt lots along the way.
It’s become such an important part of our week that we’re looking at how we can continue it.”
It took three days to assemble the exhibition ahead of the launch on Thursday 24th November. The corps will be open for visitors to come and see the display until Sunday 27th November. There will also be the opportunity to sit down for afternoon tea in the corps Community Café.
The exhibition will visit the Edinburgh Fringe next year where it’ll be displayed at Edinburgh City Corps before moving on to a Salvation Army Corps in Ayr.
A calendar has been created of the 12 stories which is available from Warrington Corps.
The corps runs a busy programme which includes a breakfast club for people experiencing homelessness, a day centre for older people and a lunch club for anyone in the community to attend.
This Christmas the corps will be serving lunch on Christmas Day to more than 30 people. Supporting vulnerable local families is also a key part of the programme and a toy appeal has launched this month. Without this around 100 local children wouldn’t have a toy to open on Christmas Day.
If you’d like to find out more about the exhibition visit https://www.facebook.com/events/382283178562754/