The Royal School of Needlework is staging an exhibition for the first time at Chester Cathedral in February.
The RSN celebrates the intricate art of hand embroidery and the exhibition, entitled For Worship & Glory, runs from February 3-28 2016 in the Chapter House.
It will feature more than 50 pieces of hand embroidery work, many created as acts of devotion and worship for churches from the 18th-20th centuries. The centrepiece will be six of the famous Litany of Loreto pieces, worked by nuns.
There are chasubles from the 18th century; an antependium designed by Matthew Webb, who was a pupil of renowned artist Edward Burne-Jones, and a number of pieces made at the RSN including a beautifully worked rendition of the Good Shepherd given back to the RSN in 2011.
There will also be a number of RSN students’ final pieces from over 50 years ago, which include a range of Christian motifs and symbols.
The RSN is the international centre of excellence for this art and is based at Hampton Court Palace, Richmond, Surrey with patronage from Her Majesty the Queen.
For those wishing to learn more about this historic art, bespoke one day and a three day courses for all stitch abilities, given by expert RSN tutors, can be booked at Chester Cathedral.
Beginners and enthusiasts can also attend two lectures by the chief executive of the RSN Dr Susan Kay-Williams.
She said: “The Royal School of Needlework is delighted to be able to bring its celebrated exhibition of ecclesiastical embroidery to Chester Cathedral. We hope it will give people from all over the region the opportunity to come and see these wonderful works, many by unknown stitchers, all exhibiting high quality workmanship.”
Embroidery has been used as part of worship for centuries on vestments, altar cloths, banners and other church furnishings.