Millennium Wall hanging on tour Feb 2013

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undefinedThe Diocese of Chester Millennium Wall-hanging (pictured) is being offered for display to parishes as a focus for evangelism, teaching, contemplation and prayer. The beautiful artefact made up of 18 embroidered panels, each representing our deaneries and various Christian symbols currently hangs in St Hilary's Church, Wallasey, Wirral.

The hanging was originally made to mark the arrival of the new millennium. Planning for it began in 1999 and the pieces were lovingly and prayerfully conceived and made by a group of women from around the diocese.

Overseeing the craftwork was Erica Allen, a freelance textile artist and a former chair of the Wirral branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild.

Erica, a Wallasey resident and member of St Hilary’s Church, said: “The making of the hanging created a lot of fellowship around the diocese and helped us all to appreciate the deep meanings of the Christian symbols we use in our faith.

“People have come up to me in church and told me that they focus on the hanging before the service or while waiting for communion or after communion, so it’s an aid to contemplation and prayer.”

Elisabeth Forster had the idea of incorporating symbols from Christian art in a work to celebrate the arrival of the year 2000, and she was delighted with the results of the embroiderers.

Elisabeth said: "Our glorious millennium hanging proclaims the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

In its early days, the piece was hung at Chester Cathedral, and was dedicated there by Bishop Peter. It has also been displayed in a few other churches.

Now the idea is to offer it to those churches with wall space big enough to accommodate and display the work, which comes with an educational notice and hand-outs explaining the symbols on each of the squares.

The hanging is about 22 ft 6 in tall and 4ft 6 in wide. It’s thought that it would be a particularly impressive display item to have at a time of flower festivals or special parish occasions, or even as an object of study for Sunday schools.

If your parish would like to have the hanging for a period, then phone Erica Allen on 0151 638 3372 or email guild@ericaallen.co.uk

Help can be offered with transportation.

The background colour of the piece is predominantly earthen – to complement the traditional sandstone construction of many Cheshire churches.

The images on the panels include:

The Triquetra and Circle – The Triquetra, its three parts intertwined, signifies the Trinity: that God is three persons in one; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is combined with the circle of Eternity.

The Lamb of God – standing with the banner of victory, suggesting the victorious nature of Christ’s sacrifice. The lamb was used commonly in early Christian art to represent Christ, following the vivid imagery of the Book of Revelation.

The Vine – a symbol of new life and the organic unity of the Church in Christ. John 15 v 5 … “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear fruit; for you can do nothing without me”.

Chi Rho – the monogram of the first two letters CHI (X) and RHO (P) of the Greek word for Christ. In combination they were a widely used early Christian symbol.

The Ship – this represents the Church as an ark of salvation, protected from the perils of the world. The word ‘nave’ comes from the Latin word for ‘ship’. The nets and the fish symbolise the mission of the church.

PICTURED ABOVE - Erica Allen and Elisabeth Forster with the Millennium Wall-hanging

PICTURED BELOW -  one of the 18 panels in the hanging; this one representing the The Vine and Congleton deanery