Elizabeth Bingham


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Vintage Publishing
4 May 2023
ISBN: 9781784743963
144 pages

From the publisher

A charming and witty history of the quirky - but widely-practiced craft of embroidering kneeler cushions

'A treasure of a collection' Amber Butchart, of BBC's The Great British Sewing Bee

'I think I may already have discovered the best non fiction book of 2023' Reverend Richard Coles, author of A Murder Before Evensong

Kneelers is a celebration of the most widely practised - but often overlooked - folk art in England and Wales over the past ninety years: the design and craft of church kneelers. Featuring charming stories and enchanting designs from churches across the country, the book traces the history of kneelers; from their spectacular beginnings at Winchester in the 1930s to their booming popularity after Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and the present-day congregations who are keeping the tradition alive.

In their range and diversity, the kneelers collected here form a fascinating social record of the concerns and interests that occupied their makers - including local fauna and flora, cricket, dragons, post-war tributes and the thrills of high-speed travel.

Filled to the brim with beautiful full-colour images, Kneelers displays the quirky artistry and widely varied (and often surprising) motifs which have characterised church kneelers in the twentieth century. It rejoices in the personal stories of some of the people who have practised and advanced the art form, and is a wonderful commemoration of what happens when communities come together to celebrate their history and their environment.

'A glorious and delightful salute' Tracy Chevalier, author of A Single Thread

'This book is a Godsend!' Alan Titchmarsh, author of The Gardener's Almanac