Friday, 15 October 2010

The first session at St Anthony of Padua church hall

In Michaelmas Term 2010 we moved to St Anthony of Padua church hall in Headington. It's much easier to teach two groups here, as the room can be divided into two with a partition down the centre. Above, some of the younger group making chalice veils with the help of Emma Stevens; the older group, led by Barbara Williams, making smocked baby bonnets.


  1. I absolutely ADMIRE your work! How long does it take to make a needle case or baby bonnets? Are those a good item to choose for beginners? The boys who work on the veil are mostly altar boys?

    Do the students also learn the history behind what they are working on (e.g. chalice veils), and what meaning it has in the Traditional Latin Mass?

    I am sorry to ask lots of questions but I am so highly interested in your laudable work which I can also embark in my home and in my community!

  2. Thank you very much indeed for your kind comments - the first on this blog! The needle cases took about three sessions, with the children taking them home and doing some work in between - perhaps about 8 hours of work. The baby bonnets may take longer, as they are being gathered and smocked - it's not really a beginner's project, but the girls are very keen and we are lucky to have an expert tutor in Barbara Williams who can guide them through it.

    The chalice veils are being made by the younger group. As it happens, there were a few boys in the group, and I didn't want to put them off by choosing baby clothes or handbags! Chalice veils are simple to make and naturally they appealed to the boys, who have made terrific progress with them. I haven't talked to them about the history (indeed I am not qualified to do so) but the way they are used has had to be considered because it affects the design. You are right, though, that would be a helpful avenue to explore - I might ask Fr Saward to give the children a talk on it some time!