Prayers of the Church Community Art Project

Building on the rich liturgical textile tradition of the Cathedral, a new community art installation for the west alcove will be created over the first 8 months of 2016. The project seeks to facilitate a connection between the work of hands (especially stitching) and prayer.

There are many ways and opportunities for members of the community to participate.

Beginning in January, you are invited to hand write out a favorite prayer from our rich Anglican common prayer tradition. These words, prayed across centuries and around the world, stitch us together into a rich fabric. Of particular interest are those words that seem to come easily in moments of joy or sorrow, at times when we feel God’s presence most, or perhaps least. Words that give solace or comfort, celebration or thanksgiving. Pray while you write. Archival paper and pens will be provided.

We will create silk-screens from a selection of the prayers and use them to print onto some of the fabrics used in the project. The pages of prayers themselves will be imbedded within the final mounting of the artwork, hidden from sight but ever present.

From February onward, we will have a series of studio days where we will be silk-screen printing fabrics, piecing and assembling blocks, and machine stitching. There will be wide range of tasks for a diversity of experience levels.

Once a number of the blocks are assembled, we will also have quiet stitching days. Each block will be hand stitched with a range of mostly simple (no experience necessary) stitches. Come explore stitch as a form of meditation. Your stitches will add yet one more layer of prayer.

The 225 completed panels are designed to change position according to the liturgical calendar. It is anticipated that the first completed sections of the work will be installed in the west alcove in time for Easter, with the full project completed by the end of August.

This project is designed and facilitated by Cathedral artist Thomas Roach. If you have any questions or wish to receive regular updates by email, contact Thomas at or drop by the studio in the lower level. Studio hours are variable, but generally Tuesday through Thursday, 10:30am to 3:00pm. Check ahead by email to be sure Thomas will be there if you think you might drop by.

Funding for this project is by a grant from the bequest of the Estates of Jim and Anne McCullum to the Cathedral.