Volunteers’ Week – Thank You Volunteer Embroiderers of Derby

02nd June 2023

These very talented embroiderers volunteer each week at Derby Cathedral and are nearing the end of a project to create six Tay Copes for St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee.

Volunteers’ Week – Thank you, Janet Poole, Barbara Walford, Alison Andrews, Sue McIntyre. Ann Johnson, Beryl Hill, Anne Parkin, Margaret Weightman and Ann Jwala.

The Project forms part of the Copes and Frontals Project to renew and refresh the Scottish cathedral’s textiles. The designs are inspired by the River Tay and each Tay Cope has a cloak of gold silk and a stylised hood, long and pointed like an inverted Cathedral spire.

Volunteers' Week - Derby Cathedral

The hoods are made of waves of colour, from deep blues and purples up through shades of blue and green and silver, with ornamental hoods each slightly different to reflect the different moods of the river: morning and evening, ebb and flood, winter and summer.

The Tay Copes have been designed and made by the current volunteers of Embroidery Workshop of Derby Cathedral.

Volunteers' Week - Derby Cathedral

Established in 1955, the Workshop’s embroiderers maintain a long tradition of skilled church embroidery and innovative design.

The Copes use appliqué techniques. The waves are made of silk dupion, hand-stitched in place and overlaid with waves of netting to create movement and depth, and occasional use of beadwork to catch the light and create texture.

The Tay Project is being funded jointly by St Paul’s Cathedral and the Diocese of Brechin, partly from historic funds that are restricted to this kind of use, and partly from donations. Each Cope costs £1,500.

These volunteer Embroiderers will travel to Dundee for an official handover of all the vestments on Sunday 25 June, which is Dundee Cathedral’s Patronal Festival.

Volunteers' Week - Derby Cathedral

Do you have time to offer or skills to share. Your cathedral needs you! Do get in touch with your local cathedral this #VolunteersWeek.

All the contact details for cathedrals can be found here.