Cathedrals and me

This week’s theme at Every Inchie Monday is cathedral and I have a whole pot-pourri of inchies to share. One way or another, cathedrals have had quite a significance in my life. Firstly, when I was growing up, the majority of our family holidays were taken in this country and visiting cathedrals was always part of the deal. I clearly remember the impact of visiting Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral which seemed like an ice rink. I’ve probably been to most of England’s cathedrals with one notable exception – Canterbury. By the time I got to be a bolshy teenager, cathedral visits were so ingrained I never thought to question it or create a fuss. Furthermore, it didn’t put me off visiting some cathedrals further afield – Cologne, Valencia, St Mark’s, Notre Dame and Chartres.

Then, in the later part of his ministry, my Uncle was a bishop. Firstly, he was suffragan Bishop of Lancaster and then, for the ten years until he retired, he became Bishop of Carlisle. He was also one of the 26 bishops who sat in the House of Lords. But to me, he was just Unk, who married me and my husband and baptised both my sons.


So, the first three inchies are inspired by my Uncle. You can probably see that the first is gold glitter pen on blue card and is simply the pattern from his cope.

P1070248The next one was made by stamping and heat embossing in gold and is the pattern on the ceiling of Carlisle Cathedral.


The final one in this trio is from a cope that was designed by Judith Peacock. If I remember rightly, her inspiration was the grasses of Cumbria.



So now it will come as no surprise to you that whilst studying for A’Level art, my written study was of ecclesiastical embroidery. This required yet more visits to cathedrals, including a return to Liverpool where the impact was just the same. However, it is the smaller cathedral of Derby that inspired my next set of inchies. I was lucky enough to have personal guided tour by Canon Leonard Childs (now deceased) who was a leading designer of church vestments and a skilled embroider.


These inchies are based on the amazing stained glass windows, designed by Ceri Richards, and the copes, designed by Leonard Childs, that the windows inspired.






Thanks for buzzing by.


Cathedrals and me — 26 Comments

  1. Beautiful inchies and what a fascinating life you have led. You have been exposed to and taken part in so many wonderful artistic adventures, no wonder your talent shines so! ~Diane

    • Aah – thanks Diane. I have been lucky to see some sights in my time and the times when life and art have become entwined have been brilliant!

  2. I’ve had a fascination for cathedrals ever since I was taught about the Middle Ages; I think it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to see so many. I love the way your inchies incorporate actual church patterns you know personally, and they are lovely! Those stained glass windows are absolutely gorgeous!!! If were in that church, I’d have a hard time listening to the service. 🙂 You’ve done a fantastic job with this!!

    • It is an amazing building, but the one in Liverpool is surreal – in a good way. Thank you for your kind comments and congratulations on your Gecko Galz win. 🙂

    • It’s amazing how stained glass can create such fabulous effects. If you ever get the chance to see Chartres, it is well worth the trip!

  3. I love the story’s you tell. I lived in England for a year and the only Cathedral we got close to visiting was closed & for the life of me I cant remember the name of it. I remember it was atop a hill and you had to walk 199 steps to get to it; and we did! Then when we got there, if memory serves me, it was closed. What an awesome joy it must be for you to know that you have been to so many Cathedrals and had the great family traditions. I am also blown away by the designs of the copes and the stained glass windows. My beady drain is just running right now lol.

    BTW I love, love, love your inchies, they are so beautiful and meaningful

    • Thank you! Would love to know where you lived in England. The most famous 199 steps are in Whitby, on the East Yorkshire coast, which is not too far from where I live and was the setting for Dracula. What a shame that after your climb that it was closed. Can’t wait to see what you bead next!

  4. I am in awe!!! First from your story,……and then by your beautiful artwork!!! How blessed are you to have had an Unk, as a Bishop!! And what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing! You were probably very excited to get to this word on the Inchie list, huh? Again, beautiful work!!! :0) Share Humanity

    • Thank you Annette. Yes, I was excited and it was great to look back at my art project too – which I had almost thrown away whilst decluttering, but something stopped me. Then we get chocolate for next week too!!!!

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