Thirty three biblical scenes, lovingly recreated in wool by members of St George’s United Reformed Church in Hartlepool, have had an ecumenical outing to the Methodist Church in Lanchester, County Durham. This latest outing is one of many for the knitted figures since their creation in 2008.
The knitted Bible project began when the Revd Val Towler, minister of St George’s URC, was given a knitting pattern for The Last Supper. She took it along to the hobbies group at the church, and the members finished it in a week. The success of this led to the suggestion that the group knit other Lent and Easter scenes, and by Easter 2008, Palm Sunday, The Crucifixion and The Empty Tomb, together with The Last Supper (pictured), were displayed at the church.
By this time, the group had really got the biblical knitting bug, and decided to knit the whole Bible. Val Towler said: “I thought about it, and came up with scenes to tell the story of God's interactions with his people from creation to the resurrection of Jesus.” Val decided on 33 scenes including Noah’s ark, Jacob’s ladder, Samson and Delilah, Moses in the bulrushes and Jonah and the whale, and, with the help of 40 church members at St George's, several friends of the church, the Pilots, and the junior church, the knitted Bible was completed in just a few months. Since then it has been in demand and loaned out to other churches across the North East.
Val added: “We’d not anticipated that the knitted Bible would take on a life of its own, but that’s exactly what’s happened … churches of various denominations, from Whitley Bay to Ferryhill, have borrowed it to put on display – and every one of them has been amazed at the detail in the scenes, at the number of visitors it attracts and at the opportunities it affords for talking about the Christian faith.”