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A stitch back in time for Bradwell Church

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Monday, 14 April 2014. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

THE work of an eight strong team of members of Bradwell Church, Milton Keynes, was praised by Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, when he dedicated three new kneelers to be used for Holy Communion.

From left are Christine Hawkins, Ceri Strickland, Beryl Spikings, Bishop John, Ghislaine Whitefield, Wendy Hanson, Tracey Hanson.

Elaine Gore and Peter Lazard were absent for the photo. of an eight strong team of members of BradwellChurch, Milton Keynes was praised by Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, when he dedicated three new kneelers to be used for Holy Communion.

The kneelers were sewn and stitched by seven women members of the congregation working together over the past 16 months following designs drawn up by church historian Peter Lazard. The kneelers were dedicated at two regular morning services on Sunday March 23. Ceri Strickland who co-ordinated the stitchers said thousands of hours of painstaking work had gone into creating the kneelers. "We are delighted with the results and hope that the kneelers will be used for decades to come," she said.

Other stitchers were Christine Hawkins, Beryl Spikings, Ghislaine Whitefield, Wendy Hanson, Tracey Hanson and Elaine Gore. The kneelers tell the story of Bradwell through the ages from its inclusion in the Domesday Book to the existence of Bradwell Priory from 1154 to 1524 during which time St Lawrence Church - as Bradwell Church was originally known - was built. The story moves through the centuries - reflecting the village's rural history - and onto 1967 when Bradwell became part of the designated area of the then new city of Milton Keynes. St Lawrence became Bradwell Church in 1982 when it merged with the nearby Methodist Chapel and joined what is now known as Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership - encompassing six churches and four denominations working together for the glory of God. In his dedication Bishop John said: "Bless these kneelers we pray as they add to the beauty of worship and reflect the design of your love as we dedicate them to you our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "Afterwards he said he had probably only been asked to bless new kneelers a couple of times during his 13 years as bishop. He added: "These kneelers are spectacular and I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to meet the stitchers.

There is a lovely story behind each of the kneelers which it made it a very special occasion. ""It's a very good way of involving people to do create something which plays to their strengths and doing something in which they have a real skill.

I love Peter Lazard's designs which tell the whole story of the church. "Bishop John then chatted to members of the congregation at a bring and share lunch organised by the congregation at the nearby Bradwell Memorial Hall which is used by the church for its children's group, God's Gang, as well as social events.

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