St. Johns - Kneeler Cushion Project

The project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is to be based around the kneeler cushions or "hassocks" which are situated in St. Johns Church on York Road in Great Yarmouth.

The kneeler cushions are in various degrees of disintegration and show variation in techniques and abilities of needlework. This project was to initially focus on the recording, cleaning and repairing of the old kneelers, leading on to some workshops designing and making new kneeler cushions.

Whist recording the cushions, they had to check the outside of the cushions for any damage that has been done to it, as well as any dirt or stains that have gone onto it over the years, as well as checking if there was any bugs and insects that had gone inside the cushions, as this can cause damage to them. As a result, the cushions had to be cleaned and some had to be put in freezers in order to kill any insects that were inside the cushions. 

The cleaning was done by removing the outsides of the cushions, and brushing the dirt and loose materials off, as well as vaccumed to make sure all debris was removed. Once they were cleaned and had all insects removed from them, they were then placed inside shrink wrap to keep them protected.

The design and development of ideas for the new kneeler cushions were to reflect on many themes which could be based on or around the Church or other personal stories. Techniques and style of needlework can be diverse and creatively free to what the participants would like to use. These were worked on in regular weekly meetings or gatherings and at home by their creators.

From Thursday 7th until Sunday 10th of September, the old and new kneeler cushions were featured in an exhibition held at St. Johns, as well as an exhition at the Skippings Gallery From Monday 6th until Wednesday 15th of November. The kneeler cushions were also on display during the heritage open days. They are now being kept in St John's, and will be monitored over the years to make sure they stay in good condition.

Project Funded by:-