Dianne Excell will present the talk “The Heaton Millennium Tapestry: A Village in Stitches” at 2pm on Monday 8th July in the Bradford Cathedral de Lacy Centre.

On Monday 8th July 2024 Dianne Excell will be presenting her latest talk at the monthly ‘Monday Fellowship’ meeting entitled “A Village in Stitches”, all about the Heaton Millennium Tapestry.

Originally conceived as a small tapestry in which everyone in one church’s congregation could take part, it grew to a 53-foot-long community project which crossed the boundaries between churches and faiths. This timeline, in 357 individual pieces, tells the history of the urban village, just 2 miles from the centre of Bradford, in many styles of needlework.

The impressive tapestry saw 427 people contribute to it – aged from 6 to 93 – and encompasses sewing in a variety of styles including appliqué, blackwork, cross stitch, embroidery and needlepoint. Participants came from Helston in Cornwall to Argyll in Scotland, Fishguard in Wales to London and Albuquerque in New Mexico, USA, as well as people from local churches, different faiths, schools, local community groups, businesses and journalists, and was funded by donations from the community.

One panel, created by Denise Vale, even shows the siege of the cathedral tower (then the parish church) in the Civil War.

Attendees of this latest Monday Fellowship talk will discover more about the tapestry, from its creation to its more recent history.

The presenter of the talk, Dianne Excell, is a retired teacher who has lived in Heaton for 37 years. In 1998 she became Churchwarden of St. Barnabas’ Church in the village and was part of a team which considered how to celebrate the Millennium. The result was the Tapestry Project.

After Dianne gave the talk for the Friends of Bradford Art Galleries and Museums (FoBAGaM) at Cartwright Hall on June 18th 2022, a group of ‘Friends’ visited St. Barnabas’ to see the tapestry and have an afternoon tea.

Dianne says:
“I did not realise [back in 2000] how co-ordinating the project would take over my life for at least a year-and-a-half, but people are still interested in visiting it in 2024, so it has been in my life for over 25 years!”

Dianne herself captured in stitch form by Angela Ball

In the 24 years since 18th June 2000 – when the Millennium Tapestry became a fixture in St. Barnabas’ Church – it has also toured around various locations, including to Rotherham’s Magna Science Adventure Centre, Bradford Central Library and East Riddlesden Hall.

Maggie Myers, Director of Education and Visitors at Bradford Cathedral and Monday Fellowship lead, says:
“We are delighted that Dianne will be talking to the Monday Fellowship group, all about the Heaton Tapestry. We are very fortunate to have such a variety of talks and presentations in our Monday Fellowship annual programme and the Heaton Tapestry is a fascinating subject. Everyone is welcome to come along and hear all about it in July.”

You can come along to the next Monday Fellowship talk: “The Heaton Millennium Tapestry: A Village in Stitches” on Monday 8th July at 2pm in the de Lacy Centre, in the grounds of Bradford Cathedral.

The Heaton Millennium Tapestry is still on display at St. Barnabas’ Church, Heaton, and those interested in seeing it should contact Dianne via https://bradfordwest.church/welcome/worship/st-barnabas/

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