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What the church is wearing.

In A church steeped in history and symbolism, it should come as no at surprise that church vestments often tell a story. The garments on these pages have been skilfully crafted to represent clergy's past and present, a Scriptural passage or the world beyond the doors of the church. Maple leaves, mountains, tongues of fire, Celtic knots, even Noah's Ark--these are just a sampling of the dozens of submissions sent in by Anglican Journal readers after we asked "Tell us about your favourite vestments." All the photographs and stories can be found on the newspaper's Web site at vestments.

LANDDSCAPE COPE Archbishop David Crawley wears a stole, cope and mitre by fabric artist Amanda Gravells. "I wanted a semi-abstract design that included all the elements of the landscape of the diocese of Kootenay--the mountains, rivers, the brown earth, the snow," said the archbishop. "After I became metropolitan we added the blue for the ocean at the bottom."

ON EAGLE'S WINGS "To celebrate my 50th birthday, my family commissioned Amanda Gravells to create a stole which represents the ministries and people with whom I have had the privilege of serving. The eagle represents the strength of the Lord (Isaiah 40:30-31) and the gift of friendship of native people of the dioceses of Keewatin, Athabasca and Calgary."

--Bishop Gary Woolsey

DESIGNER PRIEST This cope from St. Barnabas church, St. Catharines, Ont., was designed and sewn by Canon David Blackwood, a retired priest who has created many vestments over the years.

ALL SEASONS This stole (above left), created by Cynthia Simonds for Rev. Jim Golding, contains all the colors of the church year blended into each other. To stop it from tangling (Mr. Golding uses a wheelchair) there are strips of velcro on the back which fasten the stole to his alb.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER "This stole was designed and crafted by the artisans of the River Collective of Oakville, Ont. It represents the wonder and beauty of God's creation. The birds are hand painted onto silk."--Rev. Amy Cousineau

OUT OF AFRICA "My favourite vestment, this African stole, is that of a special friend. Now of West Africa, Robert Okine (left) was a student at Huron College when this picture taken."--Rev. Bill Craven

SCHOOL COLOURS This cope by fabric artist Eleanor Laurie Richardson at Lakefield College School depicts the changing seasons and images of the sunset at the schools' waterfront. It is hand crafted in silk and bears the school's colours.

STITCH IN TIME "The design and embroidery work of the passion flower' (in the chasuble, top) was done by our Sister Joanna, SSJD, for use in the St. John's Convent Chapel. It has been in continual use for Lent since the early '60s. The second piece is an altar frontal showing the Virgin and Child on gold cloth utilizing much gold thread. This piece is over 100 years old, worked on by some of the Sisterhood's earliest Sisters."--Sister Elizabeth Ann, Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, Toronto

GET ON BOARD "My farewell gift from St. Peter's, Calgary, was a wonderful Noah's Ark scapular which has within it at least 1,000 stories. (Artist) Amanda Gravells hand-painted it with fibre-reactive dyes. The young, and young-at-heart love it as well--every last monkey and aardvark!"--Rev. Carmen Stansberry

TONGUES OF FIRE Rev. Judy Walton of All Saints', "Collingwood, Ont., wears a chasuble made of two tone white and cream silk. Surrounding the bottom of the chasuble are red, pink and blue tongues of fire with white doves made of cotton.

FIDDLEHEADS The banner guild of St. Martin's-in-the-Woods, Shediac Cape, N.B., made this cope For its rector, Malcolm Berry. Based on Aaron's vestment from the Old Testament, it features bells and pomegranates. The cord used for he stems curls around like a fiddlehead at each shoulder.

CELTIC Rev. David Mullin wears a Celtic stole woven by Catherine Barr when he was at Holy Trinity, Hawkesbury, Ont Read and White were chosen as "festive colours," Ms. Barr made the vestments to thank him for his care and concern during her mother's illness in 1996.

OH, CANADA! The blue of the vast Canadian sky is the background for the design of the Canada vestments worn by the primate Archbishop Michael Peers. The stole is decorated with the 12 provincial and territorial flowers. The cope bears the eastern and western oceans at its base, the forests and mountains at its sides, the prairie fields on hood and orphreys. and the aurora borealis on the back. The clasp displays maple leaves. The mitre bears on the front the cross, red (from the church's coat of arms), Winchester shape for the work of women, with green maple leaves of the coat of arms, four for the ecclesiastical provinces and one for the General Synod; on the back of the mitre is an eagle in the Mohawk 'tradition. The vestments were made in 1997 by Betty McLeod, artist in residence at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ont., as a celebration of the place in which God has placed us. Ms. McLeod was 79 when she crafted the vestments.

HOW MANY ANGELS? "My favourite stole 12 angels with various instruments, based on Psalm 150. It was created by my wife, Jette, and comes from a cross-stitch design in Danish Flower Thread by Ida Winckler. The postures of the angels are based on a frontal dating from the 1300s and displayed in Winchester Cathedral, U.K. In this stole, both figure and background are cross-stitched on fine linen with 27 threads per inch, making over 250,000 stitches on the stole. It is used on high feasts and holidays, weddings, and funerals, and never ceases to draw admiring comments."

-- Canon William C. Thomas, diocese of Niagara

'He always wore them on special occasions'

MY HUSBAND, Rev. Raymond Hutchinson, had a beautiful set of festal vestments--cream satin with an orphrey of multi-coloured Victorian embroidery--which he always wore on special celebratory occasions. The original satin came from my wedding-dress. I wrote it when we were married in June 1961 and my sister-in-law wore it when she married my brother in April 1964. At that time we had a friend who was a member of the Guild of Embroiderers in the diocese of Oxford and she converted the dress into these gorgeous vestments. So when my sister was married in August 1969 it was Ray who wore the dress, in its new form, to celebrate the nuptial eucharist!

Sadly Ray died last summer--he took ill just after General Synod and was in and out of hospital for more than a year. So we buried him in the festal vestments--I told him we would a few days before he died and he was evidently very pleased. I don't think I have a photograph of him wearing them."

--Elizabeth Hutchinson
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Title Annotation:various designs of church vestments
Publication:Anglican Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2003
Previous Article:Committee examines Anglican identity. (Canada).
Next Article:Aid, prayers, vigils in wake of war. (World).

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