A Timeline for Needlepoint at St. Luke’s
1976: A Diocesan Altar Guild was begun and all active parishes in the Diocese were invited to make 200 needlepoint kneelers for the Bishops’ Emmanuel Chapel at St. Luke’s. After many years of use the kneelers were replaced by leather kneelers gifted from St. Mary the Virgin, Falmouth.
2004: When Saint Luke’s renovated parts of the Cathedral in 2004, the carpet in the Nave was replaced with stone tiles. Rather than kneeling directly on the new tiles, it was decided that cushioned prayer kneelers were needed and, a very enthusiastic group of volunteers, formed the Kneeler Guild.
Funded by $10 parishioner contributions, the first project was to machine stitch 118 fabric kneelers. In addition, the youth ministry made 18 kneelers with fabric paint on fabric designs. The project was completed in three months, in time for Christmas services that year.
2005: Twenty two of the original Emmanuel Chapel kneelers, in desperate need of repair, were “found” in the Cathedral. Dr. Joseph Edgar, MD. volunteered to restore them and these kneelers became the model for the new kneeler needlepoint project, primarily by using similar dimensions and the predominant deep red color of the background.
Following those guidelines for dimensions and color the design of the Kneeler kit and instruction manual was created. Upholstery foam, hollofil, plywood, rubber feet were ordered and the Kneeler Guild was in business.
The word went out and to cement the marketing effort, and to sell needlepoint kits, a booth was set up at the Diocesan Convention in Bangor that year – and sales were brisk.
2014: Today there are115 kneelers hanging behind pews in the Cathedral, and several more are being stitched. In the future we are planning a kneeler catalog to record the history of this incredible effort by everyone who has participated.
And, the effort will continue to ultimately reach our initial goal. Thank you, everyone for your participation, your support and your continued enthusiasm.
* You can order your kneeler kit using the online form at the bottom of the page or by clicking on the button below and mailing your check and form into us: