Rochford District 'Tapestry': Knitting Our Heritage Together

Rochford Town Team has been awarded a £10,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for an exciting community project, “Knitting Our Heritage Together”. This will create a Heritage 'Tapestry' to celebrate the last 1,000 years of history from across the 14 parishes of Rochford District.

We would like to have people involved from all 14 parishes of Rochford District. As well as helping to make the panels, we urgently need input on the history of the parishes and ongoing assistance in project co-ordination and administration.

Anyone interested in participating, whatever your ability, should email or leave contact details at Rochford District Council (01702 318111).

The community project, also being sponsored by the Elim Estuary Church Group, will encourage groups and individuals from all 14 parishes to take part in creating hand-crafted ‘tapestry’ panels. This is a vast undertaking and the finished work will measure over 10 metres long, in 10-12 separate panels. The scenes will be designed by local artists and historians, then interpreted using a wide range of techniques, including embroidery, appliqué, knitting and felting. Whilst this is not a Tapestry in strict sewing circles, that's the easiest name to use to convey the concept! 

The panels will be exhibited as part of Rochford District’s “Discover 2020” celebrations next year and afterwards will be available for groups in Rochford District to display. This will enable residents of all the parishes, as well as visitors, to discover and learn more about the District’s rich and colourful heritage.

Commenting on the award, Geoff Durham, chair of Rochford Town Team, said: “It’s fantastic to be awarded this grant, as individuals and community groups are eager to get started. The first priest at Ashingdon Church is depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, so it seems fitting that the church’s millennial anniversary will see a modern day heritage tapestry created for the Rochford District.”

Anne Jenkins, the Heritage Fund Area Director for the Midlands and East, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’re delighted to support the creation of a heritage tapestry for Rochford District, which will allow people of all ages to explore and celebrate the heritage of these communities.” 

David Redbond, Senior Pastor of the Elim Estuary Church Group said: “It is thrilling to be able to identify with this community project, which connects our past with the present and touches the future. It reminds us that God’s love is revealed throughout the ages to all who desire to discover His love for themselves.”

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Cllr George Ioannou, said: “I’m delighted that this fantastic community project is part of the Discover 2020 festival. It’s not often that we get to be part of making history and the tapestry will create a lasting commemoration to Rochford District’s rich heritage to be enjoyed for years to come.”

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