• Rev. Caroline

A special threefold gift

I don’t suppose any of us remember being wrapped in a christening shawl, for obvious reasons. But we may know of such a shawl, perhaps worn by several different branches of our family, knitted with love by a great granny or auntie who predeceased us.

There is something special about being enveloped in something soft, home-made, crafted with love, unique.

Which brings me to PRAYER SHAWLS, a ministry developed by two American ladies, Vicky Galo and Janet Bristo, in 1998 – find out more on their website,

This was the subject for today’s opening meeting of St Andrew’s Guild, which was well attended also by members of Meadowside St Paul’s Guild, brought to us by our minister Anita.

Not only did she tell us the story – she modelled her very own prayer shawl which is clearly precious to her. We found it very moving, and nodded enthusiastically in agreement when, in drawing the meeting to a close, Sheila suggested that these shawls would make a wonderful gift to members of our congregation.

Each one is knitted, or crocheted, with prayer and not handed over to the recipient until its creator has said a blessing or prayer over it. As you can see, it may also have a bit of decoration!

Such a shawl is priceless, in both senses of that word – it is precious, and it must not be sold for money.

Each is made up of three colours, three being such a significant number in scripture e.g. Father, Son and Spirit; faith, hope and love. Anita’s has magenta, for spirituality, meditation, imagination, release, and new beginnings; brown, denoting wholesomeness, honesty, steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, down-to-earth-ness, and stability; beige, for optimism, simplicity and calming.

Let me conclude with a quote from the pattern leaflet: “The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver.”

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