Wednesday 19 June 2024

Sewing Kits for Sale

The Guild of St Clare is excited to announce the launch of a new venture: the sale of our exclusive Sewing Kits online, through the Latin Mass Society shop.

Pocket Shrine kits featuring the Sacred Heart and the Madonna & Child

The Guild has been producing and selling kits for a few years, but only at our workshops and retreats, or by special request. Now for the first time they are available to a wider audience.

Our perennially popular Embroidered Scapular kits

At the moment, the LMS is stocking five of our kits: the Embroidered Scapular kits, the Pocket Shrine kits, the Rosary Purse kits, the Travelling Stole kits and the Vestment Mender's Sewing kit. As our range expands, we hope that the LMS will continue to stock the full range.

The Vestment Mender's Sewing kit: everything you need to get started

More kits are under development already, and by Christmas we hope that an even larger number of our kits will be on offer.

The Travelling Stole kit, including damask from world famous Papal outfitters Gammarelli

All our kits come with all the materials you need to make each item, and full instructions. For further information email Lucy on .

Sunday 16 June 2024

Chapter Leaders' Outing

 Lucy writes: Guild of St Clare Chapter Leaders convened at the office of the Latin Mass Society yesterday, to enjoy a light lunch and a chat before embarking on a tour of some of London's best sewing shops.

Lucy and the Guild Chapter Leaders, next to the LMS Vestment presses

This is the first occasion on which we have all met together in person. Our Northern Chapter Leaders had the furthest to come, travelling from Durham and Manchester to be with us. The prize for the longest journey went to Clare Megarity, also one of the leaders of the Northern Chapter, who came straight to the meeting from a conference in Sweden.

The Northern Chapter leads the way in commitment both to work and recreation

One of the biggest challenges in vestment mending is finding appropriate materials. The braids, damasks and trimmings aren't widely available and can't easily be found using internet searches. However they are stocked in some places in London, and I was thrilled to be able to share the fruits of my researches with the other Guild of St Clare volunteers.

Buttons at Macculloch & Wallis

I was pleased to have the opportunity to buy some of the materials I will need for the sewing project for the St Catherine's Trust Summer School: a special Marian bag, which I hope also to sell as Guild of St Clare kits once I have completed the preparations.

Shopping was of course followed by cream tea, and readers will be delighted to hear that we have settled the vexed question of whether to put the jam or the cream first on to the scones. The answer is, of course, jam first, but we experimented exhaustively in order to verify our data.

Cream tea at the Ivy Café, Marylebone Lane

I am so grateful to the Guild's Chapter Leaders who pour so much of their precious time, skill and resources into organising the vestment mending effort, helping to build a prayerful community around the traditional Mass.

Chapter Leaders at Liberty of London

N.B. We keep an updated list of suppliers on our website, to help others find the materials needed for vestment mending.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Launch of the St Mary Magdalen Chapter

I'm delighted to announce the launch of a new Guild of St Clare Chapter at St Mary Magdalen, Wandsworth. The Chapter will be led by Ola Smalley; please email her if you would like to be involved on .

Ola at the Guild of St Clare vestment mending workshop, June 2024

St Mary Magdalen has been home to the Traditional Mass for many years. Canon Martin Edwards, the parish priest there, has done a great deal to restore it and also to build up the vestment collection, always with an eye to maintaining the artistic coherence of the furnishings and interiors.

Mass for the reunion of the Chartres pilgrims, 2014

 I attended a Requiem there on one occasion and was dazzled by the remarkable early twentieth century black High Mass Set which Fr Edwards had acquired. It will be an honour for the Guild to assist Fr Edwards in the work of preserving and maintaining his vestments.

Solemn Requiem for Remembrance Sunday 2010 at St Mary Magdalen

The Chapter Launch will be on Saturday, 20th July at 12 noon. For more details, or to join, please email Ola.

Photo credit: Joseph Shaw,

Sunday 9 June 2024

Vestment mending at St Mary Moorfields, 8th June

We had another pleasant (and productive) day at St Mary Moorfields on Saturday. A white chalice veil for use at Guild of St Clare retreats has been completed;  

fraying fabric has been reinforced and carefully patched on a Roman Purple dalmatic;

a lace protector has been stitched on to the exquisite goldwork chasuble belonging to Canon Mark Hackeson of East Anglia diocese which completes repairs to the set;

and work continues on a deep red velvet chasuble belonging to the Latin Mass Society.

Sometimes volunteers bring along repairs from their own parishes for advice and support on materials and approach, and I'm always very happy to help with these. On this occasion we hosted some splendid things from the vestry of the London Oratory. 

Our autumn dates will be announced shortly; we'll meet again in September.