Friday, 16 March 2018

Lace-making course

The Guild of St Clare is running a bobbin lace-making course, to be held fortnightly, beginning on the Thursday, 26th April. Each session will run between 8pm and 10pm, and our tutor is Clare Auty who is very kindly hosting these sessions in her own home.

Some of Clare's own work

This course will introduce you to Torchon lace techniques. Clare says: "Each piece builds on the previous piece, giving a good grounding in all Torchon stitches." The cost is £2.50 per session. Only a small number of places are available, so please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

To book a place, or to find out more, please email me at

A young Guild member making a lace bracelet

Sewing Retreat Report

The Guild of St Clare held its second Sewing Retreat in the teeth of the Beast from the East last weekend. The Carmelite Retreat Centre, where it took place, is in a delightfully rural location, at the top of Boars Hill. The roads were untreated, and retreatants defied the blizzard and the snowdrifts to make their way finally to the peace of sewing, spiritual conferences and, most importantly, the traditional liturgy. 

Fr John Hunwicke, chaplain to the Retreat, gave a series of talks on types and anti types in the Old and New Testaments in relation to Lent and Easter, celebrated daily Mass, and led us in Benediction and Compline. The retreatants worked unstintingly on the various vestment repairs, and achieved an astonishing amount, including replacing worn-out orphreys on a chasuble, reattaching fringe and clasps to a red and gold cope, re-making maniples and a burse, and repairing the nineteenth century handmade bobbin lace on an alb. 

Mending these often very beautiful vestments, which will be used in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, is to assist at Mass in a tangible way; it is a reward in itself. It's no wonder that the retreatants form such a happy community while working together on them. Many thanks to everyone who braved the weather to take part. Next year's retreat will take place on the first weekend of February. Bookings will open shortly on the LMS website.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

LMS Vestment Repairs

The Guild of St Clare has been asked to repair some vestments for the Latin Mass Society. These repairs will need to be undertaken in the LMS's office, in central London. We have arranged two dates when we will do this work: the 21st April and the 12th May, between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Lunch will be provided.

This violet High Mass Set is among the things needing attention

If you would like to join us, or want to know more about the details, please email me at Space in the LMS office is fairly limited, so we need to know how many people are planning to come.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Forthcoming autumn events

The Guild of St Clare is holding the following workshops in the autumn:

2nd September: Project Finishing - bring along your unfinished sewing projects and make some progress with the help of our skilled Guild members!

21st October: Embroidery techniques with Jacqui Mc Donald of the Royal School of Needlework (£80)

11th November: Vestment mending and making - we have various altar furnishings, chasubles, and a cope in need of repair. Join us to assist us in mending them, learn about their construction and serve the Church. (£40)

All these workshops are taking place at St Anthony of Padua church hall, 115 Headley Way, Oxford OX3 7SS. They run between 10am and 4pm. Tea and cake is provided - please bring your own lunch. For more details or to book a place please email Lucy on

Monday, 24 April 2017

Children's clothes workshops: 27th May & 17th June

Following the fun of our skirt-making, blouse-making and coat-making workshops, the Guild of St Clare is running two children's clothes-making workshops on 27th May and 17th June, under the supervision of our expert dressmaker Clare Auty. Bring a simple pattern with you and see how quickly you can make up a dress, trousers or skirt for your little ones.

 The workshops are taking place at St Anthony of Padua church hall, Headington, Oxford between 10am and 4pm. Tea and coffee will be provided - please bring your own lunch. The cost is £40 per day, or £20 for children (under 16s).

For more information, or to book a place, please contact Lucy at

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sewing Retreat 2018

Booking is now open for the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat 2018.  

It will be held at the Carmelite Retreat Centre, Boars Hill, Oxfordshire between 2nd and 4th March.

Our chaplain will be the well-known classicist and blogger Fr John Hunwicke.

Join us for a weekend of traditional devotions and vestment mending in charming and comfortable surroundings.

Book your place here or contact for more details.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Guild of St Clare Lenten Challenge

Mend a vestment for Lent!

Join us on the afternoons of 18th March and 13th May to make a really valuable Lenten offering.

Liz and Amanda repairing the embroidered hood of a nineteenth century cope

We are repairing various sets of vestments and would welcome volunteers keen to do something really special this penitential season.

Clare supervising the making of an altar frontal

If you would like to come along please email Lucy at for more details.