The Tapestry group started in 1997 when Maggie Saxby asked Fr. Willie if the group could make a tapestry to commemorate the millennium. The group met every week in the Upper Room for over a year to complete the tapestry, measuring more than three metres by one and a half metres. All five Roman Catholic churches of High Wycombe were involved. Over one hundred people contributed including the Mayor of High Wycombe. The group received a substantial millennium grant from Wycombe Council to help fund making the tapestry. Tapestry 2000 as it was called hangs in St. Augustine’s Church.
In 2001 the group went on to create a tapestry to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and this hangs in the new extension to the Guildhall in Wycombe. It measures over three and a half metres by one and a half metres and consists of three large panels showing the history of the town. The group was fortunate in receiving another substantial award from the Lottery Fund which enabled the tapestry to be made for the town. The Golden Jubilee Tapestry was temporarily moved to Court Garden House in Marlow in 2002 and Maggie Saxby was invited to be presented to Her Majesty The Queen at a luncheon for people from Buckinghamshire community groups and was able to talk to her about the group and the tapestry itself. One of the Queen’s Ladies in Waiting asked Maggie if a photograph of the tapestry could be sent to Buckingham Palace to remind Her Majesty of her visit to Buckinghamshire. Margaret Sole and Mary Grimshaw from the group presented this framed replica tapestry photograph to Sir Nigel Mobbs, the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire at the time. The tapestry was then brought home to the Guildhall in July and later that year was presented to the Chairman of Wycombe Council by Maggie and the stitchers.
The group has continued to meet regularly making several other large tapestries for the Church, such as altar frontals, as well as making tapestries for charities, including a large portrait of Cardinal Hume for the Cardinal Hume Centre in London in 2007 and kneelers for a chapel in Romania for the charity Children in Distress. In 2012 the group began a tapestry was begun to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which was presented to the Mayor of High Wycombe on Saturday 2nd June 2012. It will hang in the Oak Room in the Town Hall.
As the stitching is simple everyone can take part. It has enabled many people to come together to stitch, chat and have a cup of tea. It is very light-hearted and is great fun. The group is now taking a break for the summer but will be meeting again in the autumn. If you are interested in coming to the group please contact Maggie on email@example.com or look at the newsletter for further details.