We are the Diocese of Leeds: Stitching together in Bradford Cathedral

This week’s film in our year long campaign to tell the story of our rich and varied life here in the Diocese of Leeds, looks at a very special project in Bradford Cathedral.

Stitch in the Cathedral is designed to bring people together to share a unique moment in that sacred space at the top of the city. Together they are stitching kneelers for the high altar. 

As Canon Missioner, Mandy Coutts, says, this project pulls in people from all over the city.  “This is a sacred space and for a lot of people there’s a real healing moment in having that space to talk, to reflect - it's a real therapeutic moment for all concerned."

But this story goes to the heart of Bradford's rich history. During WW1, Bradford woman, Louisa Pesel, a traveller and collector, was at the family home in Manningham. She was a skilled needlewoman - she would become the first president of the Embroiderers' Guild - and recognised needlework's  therapeutic qualities. She got involved with the Bradford Khaki Handicrafts Club, set up in 1918, to provide occupational therapy and employment for men returning from the war. She taught many shell shocked soldiers embroidery - and helped them embroider the Khaki Altar Cloth - a cross stitch superfrontal - now part of the Cathedral's collection. 

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