Famous tapestry coming to Ely

AN ornate tapestry that took more than 15 years to complete will be going on show in Ely early next year.

The Quaker Tapestry boasts 77 finely embroidered panels that tell the story of the Quaker movement and its impact on the world.

More than 4,000 people across 15 countries had a hand in completing the tapestry and visitors to Ely Cathedral will be able to admire its beauty from January 31 next year as it comes to the city as part of ongoing tour.

The free exhibition, in the Lady Chapel, will run until February 29 and includes a film, audio guides, children’s activities, and opportunities to see embroiderers working.

Bridget Guest, general manager of the exhibition, told the Ely Standard: “The tapestry has a huge wow factor both when you look at it and the story behind it and people are always surprised by how modern, bright and colourful it is.”

Mrs Guest said that the tapestry will be specially transported from its home in Kendal, Cumbria, for the exhibition and will take a team of people about a week to set up once it reaches the cathedral.

The Quaker Tapestry came into being as a result of a chance remark made by a boy attending the children’s class of a small Quaker Meeting in the south west of England in 1981.

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His teacher, to whom the remark was made, was Anne Wynn-Wilson, an accomplished embroiderer. She had the vision of a number of large tapestry panels telling something of the Quaker story and beliefs.

Enthusiasm for her project spread and thousands of people across the globe became involved with the tapestry, which depicts stories from the industrial revolution, the abolition of slavery and astronomy among others.

Each of the 77 panels measures 25” by 21”.

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