The Church Tapestry at Scaynes Hill

The church tapestry seen as a whole

The whole tapestry

Clicking on the image will bring up a much larger copy.

Until the nineteen–thirties Scaynes Hill was part of the Sussex parish of Lindfield; in the year 1990, to celebrate its diamond jubilee as a separate parish, the church decided to commission the Tapestry.

It is eighteen feet long by ten feet high, contains roughly three million stitches, and it took ten women and three men plus the designer, Polly Hope (1933-2013), whose website has her own account of the making of the tapestry, from the 9th of December 1991 until the 28th of January 1999 to put in all the stitches.

You can learn a little about it here, but for the full experience, why not arrange a history talk visit?

The Good Shepherd

The design is based around events described in the New Testament of the Bible, signs and miracles performed by Jesus that Saint John recounts in his Gospel.

Central image of Christ the Good Shepherd from the tapestry
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”

John 10:10

The central figure is Christ as the Good Shepherd with his flock, holding the lamb of God who gave his life for the salvation of the world. The eagle is the traditional symbol of St John, the dove talking to Jesus represents the Holy Sprit and the sheep around his feet represent us, the faithful. Above Christ are the hands of God the Father.

Seven Passages from John’s Gospel

Incorporated within the tapestry are the following seven signs or events. Click on any of the small images to bring up a larger one, and on the passage reference for a fuller explanation of the event.

Detail from tapestry Description Bible reference
Detail of the Wedding Feast at Cana The wedding feast at Cana John 2:1‒11
Detail of the Samaritan Woman at the Well The woman at the well John 4:7‒42
Detail of the Paralytic in the Pool The healing of the paralytic John 5:2‒17
Detail of the Feeding of the Five Thousand The feeding of the five thousand John 6:1‒15
Detail of the Woman caught in Adultery The woman taken in adultery John 8:3‒11
Detail of the Jesus healing the Man born Blind The healing of the man born blind John 9:1‒41
Detail of Lazarus rising from the Dead Raising of Lazarus John 11:1‒44