Just after the death of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s on 8 September 2022 and her son, Charles was pronounced King, several of us were in church clearing flowers when the Rev. Helene Stainer said we would need a banner to mark the occasion.
In January 2023, after discussions, the materials for making a banner had been acquired by Rachel Bidlake-Corser who had organised the embroidering and making up of the wonderful kneelers in Milverton church. She applied the design of the new King’s cypher onto canvas and added the first stitches.
By late January and February the banner began to be circulated for others to add stitches including a weekly outing at the Community Cafe where others added stitches. It naturally evolved into a ‘Stitch for the King’ project to which Milverton Court Leet generously donated £100 towards costs of the wool.
Eventually 186 people added stitches, the youngest 3 years old and the oldest 96 years old and both our wonderful Ukrainian refugee families eagerly added their stitches. So important a community project did it become many clamoured to add more stitches.
Lady Susan Lethbridge generously donated the wonderful silk brocade with which it is backed and Mrs. Edwina Pugsley donated the cord for the piping that surrounds the banner. Kirsten Horton came across a pole that had been used for a previous banner. It was the exact size we needed and Milns Prescott was able to buff up the original brass knobs at the end and so it is now on show again with a new banner!
And so, this little wish expressed by the Rev. Stainer has shown how the community came together without the need to advertise and produced this amazing ‘Stitch for our king’ banner. A list of all those who stitched along with many photographs of stitchers will eventually be available in the church.