Julian of Norwich Cloth of Kindness
Sally-Anne Lomas writes:
To celebrate the 650th anniversary of the writing of Revelations of Divine Love we are making a Cloth of Kindness for the new Julian Campus in Norwich. We invite everyone near and far to join in. The sewing skills necessary are simple and easily learnt. All you need is a kind heart.
The Cloth of Kindness is a textile arts project inspired by Julian’s writing and the beautiful, embroidered letters of Lorina Bulmer. People are invited to sew words of kindness onto patches of material which are sewn together to make a quilt.
We are holding Sewing with Compassion Workshops in Norwich at The Julian Centre from 1pm – 2.45pm on the following dates:
THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH & 25TH
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH / OCTOBER 5TH & 19TH / NOVEMBER 2ND, 16TH & 23RD
Everyone is welcome. Hand sewing is a soothing activity. Come and join us for tea and cake and the quiet stitching of compassionate words in company. Love is the thread that joins us all together.
Packs Available by Post
For those not able to come to Norwich there are packs available with materials, thread, a needle, and instructions which we can post out to anyone anywhere in the world. You can request packs from firstname.lastname@example.org
Please return them by the end of December 2022 at the latest.
You can find out more about the project and watch a short film and a ‘how to’ video at http://www.clothofkindness.co.uk
How it started
Sally-Anne Lomas made the first Cloth of Kindness in 2015 for the exhibition Julian of Norwich: Creativity and Compassion at the Burning Bush Barn Contemplative Arts Space. Sally-Anne sought to make into a physical reality Julian’s concept that we are ‘enfolded in love’. Lorina Bulmer was a resident on the lunatic ward of the Great Yarmouth Workhouse in the late 19th century. Her embroideries are part of the Norwich Castle Museum’s Textile Collection. Lorina used simple sewn words to express her pain and unhappiness. Sally-Anne borrowed her style to sew words of kindness and compassion. The original Cloth of Kindness was displayed on a sofa so that people could snuggle underneath it and be enfolded in soft to the touch, loving words.
When the Chaplain of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Canon Eleanor Langan, asked if The Cloth of Kindness could be displayed at the hospital the idea for an ongoing community arts project was formed. Gill Perks joined the team as Project Manager and quilt maker-in-chief.
Whereas Sally-Anne did all the sewing on the first cloth, subsequent cloths have been made by many hands. Each patch is special and unique but it’s together that they make something beautiful.
The Cloth of Kindness Community Arts Project is run by Sally-Anne and Gill with the help of many wonderful volunteers. Over the last seven years they have worked with hospitals, cancer centres, mental health institutes, with carers for dementia sufferers, and women suffering domestic abuse to make many Cloths of Kindness. Their mission is to enfold the world in love.
Sally-Anne talks about the project in her Julian Lecture 2018 From Spark to Screen: the Creative Power of Julian of Norwich, available from the Friends of Julian shop