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Ecclesiastical Needlepoint

Many of our parishes either have had or have now a needlepoint ministry and tradition. The care of beautiful and valuable needlepoint already in place is an ongoing concern. The design and production of canvases upon which new kneelers, cushions and hangings are worked is a major liturgical art form.

Bidwell Cranage DrakeI’m pleased to offer you Bidwell Cranage Drake – affectionately known as ‘Bid’. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for bringing your servant, Bid, into our lives! I love this picture of Bid in her verger’s gown – and rochet – taken in England one day when she – and 180 British vergers – was trudging up the hill to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Doesn’t she look like a perfectly normal sort of a person? I happen to know that Bid is also an ‘ole ranch hand, babysitting horses, chickens, milk cows, show rabbits, Nubian goats, barn cats, dogs, fish, etc. for her daughter who is a Master Gardener. What a girl!

I find now that Bid and I began our Christian ministries at about the same time – the mid-1980s. In the following years, Bid has become heavily involved in the full life cycle of ecclesiastical needlepoint; from church guild startup, fund-raising, symbolism research, custom design and hand painting of canvases, teaching small and large groups, through finishing, refurbishment, and restoration. She carefully works with the existing design elements in each church, so the finished pieces ‘belong’ in that particular sanctuary, whether traditional or contemporary.

Here is a picture of a super-frontal designed and finished by Bid and worked by Mary Sue to match the chasuble/stole and deacon’s stole of rose Winchester.  This is what Mary Sue said about the frontal:  “The roses matched the hangings and vestments perfectly.  It made the church feel warm even though we had a kind of a chill in the air outside.  And the best part is that it doesn’t look new.  I know that sounds strange but it looks like it matches all of the other superfrontals we already have so it fits like it had always been a part of the set.”


I especially want to draw your attention to Bid’s book: Guide to Church Needlepoint Care and Maintenance. Every parish that is blessed with needlepoint should have this information on hand on the sacristy bookshelf. When you need this information, you need it right now – not two weeks from when the baby being baptized has thrown up on the Lady Chapel kneeler or a young acolyte didn’t notice that his torch was dripping wax on the cushion on the Bishop’s throne. Please call Bid to check on price and postage: 936-756-3566.

The best thing I can do is put you right over to Bid’s website: