In September 2010 St Mary the Virgin in Ashford town centre was vacated to be re-ordered. We returned for our first Sunday services on 17th of July 2011. Most of the pews had been taken out and replaced by easily removable chairs. A new dais had been built for concerts, plays and talks arranged by the St Mary’s Arts Trust and for charitable events to take place in the church. This new dais was much larger and had a different shape, which meant that the church had no kneelers for communicants to kneel on whilst receiving communion. A group of volunteer needle women came together with Father Colin in early 2014 to agree on a design. This design was finally sanctioned by the church hierarchy and a firm specialising in designing bespoke kneelers was contacted to provide a quote. The quote was well above the money raised by the congregation and we didn’t think we would ever be able to order the kneeler packs.
We approached the Godinton Charitable Trust, which meets twice a year to agree funding to assist local charities. To our absolute delight the Trust gave us a donation of £1000, which, with a loan from church funds and other donations, made it possible to place the order. In May 2014, 3 enormous boxes arrived with 9 equally enormous strips of foam kneelers, plus all the canvases and wool necessary to complete the task. All the volunteers are now busily employed in finishing the kneelers, but it looks a Herculean task at the minute.