This morning I travelled to the Salvation Army church in Warrington to see a fantastic display of 3D knitted work.
The whole piece, which spans around the main church hall took almost a year to create, thousands of hours of work and many contributing knitters and artists.
It contains almost 400 knitted characters, over 130 animals and numerous rocks, seashells, wine goblets, buildings, boats and scenery. Very few knitting groups could take on the challenge of knitting the bible with such flair and skill.
It’s a display which has been lovingly supported by the whole church in Warrington and the result is stunning.
Biblical scenes from the garden of Eden right through to the ressurection have been re-created as only knitters can, each scene thought out and the contributors read and re-read each bible story, thinking about how this should be created. I can imagine the questions about the nativity, which traditionally have one or two sheep and a couple shepherds, but in reality the shepherds were watching a herd, so a whole field of knitted sheep were needed.
Just how many loaves needed to be made to justify feeding the multitudes? And how would a net bursting with fish be created.
The display is currently on display at it’s home at the Salvation Army church in Warrington, but plans are in place for it to travel to the Edinburgh Fringe festival next year and more exhibition plans are being made, so I hope you can see it in person.
I went to see the exhibition on a Sunday, which being a church also meant I stayed for the service. The people were very welcoming and excited to see the results of the exhibition, and here’s where it gets exciting.
The BBC came to do a short piece on the exhibition and the exhibition has reached thousands through the BBC. As I sat in the hall I heard someone else mention they were at the church for the first time. Others have driven from Wales, Southport, I came from Leeds, all to see the exhibition.
The church has made connections with people from Australia and other countries, and the visitors book is looking full.
It used to be that stories from the bible were shown through church windows and tapestries, mainly for people who were illiterate, so all could have the bible accessible, then school became available to all and the need for visual story telling died down, but perhaps the need is being revived. Our country, like many countries, are becomming new homes for people from other countries, people who don’t have English as a first language, people who don’t know the bible stories we take for granted. In this world of 3D graphics, perhaps this exhibition will be the starting place for some people to find the hope they’ve been searching for.
In a world where fewer children are learning the bible stories I saw children visiting and having their photos taken next to their favourite stories, during the service church members spoke of people they had met that week who were in need and the church, who seem to have so many exciting things going on through the week were able to help or point them in the right direction.
I don’t know many church events that can bring the world back into the church, but this exhibition sure seems to be one of them.