Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Winner of Guild of St Clare sponsorship to the RSN

The Guild of St Clare is delighted to announce its first ever appointment to our new Royal School of Needlework sponsorship scheme. 

James Sharpe is specialist social worker in Hackney who converted to Catholicism four years ago. He has been a student of the arts since childhood, and studied archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge.

James's Celtic knot work design,
undertaken  at the Prince's School of Traditional Art


He is interested in many traditional crafts including iconography, calligraphy, illumination, geometry and printing and has dedicated a great deal of time to learning about them.

Sarah Homfray's William Morris inspired design,
stitched by James
under Sarah's long-distance tuition scheme

 More recently he has developed an interest in embroidery, especially medieval church embroidery; studying for the RSN Certificate course will enable him to pursue this skill to a professional level. We very much look forward to having the benefit of James's interests and expertise at future Guild of St Clare events, and wish him well as he begins his studies in October.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Cope for St Anthony

Recently completed for the parish of SS Gregory & Augustine, Oxford,  a white cope in honour of St Anthony's feast day on 13th June.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Royal School of Needlework Sponsorship Scheme

The Guild of St Clare is launching a brand-new and very exciting initiative: the chance to study for the Certificate course at the Royal School of Needlework at a subsidised rate of 50%. The Certificate Course is intended as a part-time course for keen amateurs and can readily be fitted around existing work and family commitments. It enables you to develop solid skills and become part of a long tradition of maintaining the highest standards in hand embroidery. For more information about the course on the RSN website click here.
The Guild of St Clare at the Royal School of Needlework 

An important part of the charism of the Guild is encouraging the teaching of skills essential to our work. We hope that in sponsoring places on the RSN Certificate course we will be assisting in providing the Church with the skilled technicians it needs to maintain and create beautiful vestments and altar furnishings. Applicants should be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for needlework and a commitment to this work for the glory of God.
RSN tutor Heather Lewis teaches the Guild of St Clare beginners' goldwork course 

For more information, or details about how to apply, please follow this link.
Heather's completed ecclesiastical goldwork sampler 

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Successful sewing day in London


The Guild held another very productive day in St Mary Moorfields, London, in conjunction with a training day for the Latin Mass Society's server-training sodality, the Society of St Tarcisius.


Some long-standing projects of the Guild are nearing completion, opening the way for some exciting new undertakings.


Monday, 4 March 2019

Booking open for Sewing Retreats in 2019 and 2020

Bookings are now being taken for the Guild of St Clare sewing retreats in November 2019 and February 2020. Both will be held at Douai Abbey in Berkshire.

We are very happy to welcome back Fr John Hunwicke as chaplain to our November retreat. This will be a particularly special occasion as we will celebrate the feast of All Saints and of All Souls during the weekend - the dates are 1st-3rd. To book for November 2019, click here.

Assisting us for the first time as chaplain at our February retreat (28th Feb-1st March 2020) will be Fr Stephen Morrison O. Praem, of the Norbertine community at Chelmsford. To book for February 2020, click here.

As well as the usual mending, we also have a quantity of vestments to be made from scratch, which may be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about how they are constructed. 

Don't miss your chance to register - places are strictly limited!

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Sewing Retreat Spring 2019: photos and report


This year's spring Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat, like last year's, took place in the snow: last time it was the 'Beast from the East' in early March. By now we knew the route up Boars Hill which doesn't turn into a toboggan run for cars, so the disruption was manageable. I had even bought the car some 'snow socks' and other widgets for bad weather, which came in handy.


The last day of the Retreat, Sunday, also happened to be St Blaise's feastday, and we had the Blessing of Throats.


Lots of sewing was done, and various large projects for the Latin Mass Society and others were brought closer to completion. The Retreat was sold out--numbers are limited--and much edified by Fr Edward van den Burgh's spiritual conferences, Masses, and other devotions, and also by his joining in the sewing himself! He went home with advice on the repairs of one liturgical item he had brought with him and completed repairs on others.


Many thanks to the Guild of St Clare for organising another successful retreat!

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Vestment mending days in London in 2019

The Guild of St Clare in the LMS Office

Last spring we had, experimentally, two very successful vestment mending days in the Latin Mass Society's Office in Macklin Street, London. The Office houses the two sets of architect's drawers where the bulk of the LMS vestment collection is. The collection covers the complete range, from fine pieces in good condition, to things which are not presently usable, because of missing items from sets, and things which need a significant amount of work. 

Working vestments need constant attention. Edges fray, hooks and eyes get pulled, linings gradually wear through, gold-work needs couching down, and embroidery repairing.

A situation which is perfect, of course, for the Guild: presenting us with fine work to examine and keep in tip-top condition, pieces needing only basic skills to tackle, potential for projects to make things from scratch, and everything in between. These have already provided work for the Guild's sewing retreats. We have also made a start labeling, photographing, and cataloging the collection.

To carry on the project, in the first half of 2019 we will have three more vestment mending days in London, this time in conjuction with server-training events organised by another guild affiliated to the LMS, the Society of St Tarcisius.

Dates: training days start at 10:30 am.

February: Saturday 16, at St Mary Moorfields

March: Saturday 9, at at St Mary Moorfields

May: Saturday 11, at Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick St

Booking is required because space is limited: just email the Guild: There is no fee.


St Mary Moorfields, 4-5 Eldon St, London EC2M 7LS, between Moorgate and Liverpool Street Tube Stations (click for a map).

Our Lady of the Assumption, 10 Warwick St, Soho, London W1B 5LZ, near Piccadilly Tube Station (click for a map).