The Church Tapestry at Scaynes Hill
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.
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|
|The wedding feast at Cana||John 2:1–11|
|The woman at the well||John 4:7–42|
|The healing of the paralytic||John 5:2–17|
|The feeding of the five thousand||John 6:1–15|
|The woman taken in adultery||John 8:3–11|
|The healing of the man born blind||John 9:1–41|
|Raising of Lazarus||John 11:1–44|