1 Woodfield Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. HG1 4LN

Sew-Cial – Super word! What is it?

5 November: chilly, misty rather murky morning with a smell of damp squibs in the air.  Not too many people about.  But around 10:30am enter the beautifully refurbished Bilton Grange United Reformed Church and you will find a very warm welcome indeed.

The lights are bright, the heating is on, the tables are laid with flowers and there is an air of busyness about the place.  A lot to see. Exhibits of craft work: an amazing quilt showing a journey around the world with panels depicting each country visited, banners portraying quotes from the Psalms made by youngsters at the church, knitted goods together with plenty of needles and wool for those who want to get started, well designed cards for any occasion on sale at very reasonable prices, a ‘Show and Tell’ table, sewing aids for anybody to use, also colouring equipment for those who like to sit and quietly transform a printed picture or pattern into a work of art.

Most importantly an opportunity to meet with friends old and new with time to chat and to have tea, coffee or a soft drink with a biscuit or two. It struck us during the morning, that there was also huge value in BG people being able to just sit and chat asso often we are rushing about doing one thing or another.

No one knew how many people would turn up for the inauguration meeting but we realised that God more or less filled the chairs and tables we put out and we also had the right number of mugs for hot drinks.  Next time we shall put out a few more!

A morning of chatter and laughter and maybe a few dropped stitches, but what does that matter?  They can soon be picked up and put right for even the most basic learners.  That’s another thing, there are people on hand willing to teach, show, explain and generally encourage those who would like to get busy.

It was in the news again on Monday about the government wanting to prescribe social activities like cooking etc., to improve quality of lives and combat loneliness.   We got there first with a very successful first gathering of this kind.  Not sure we could get involved in cooking but plenty of clicking needles and sewing.

The founding idea for this new group came from Jill Harrison who has put in a great deal of effort to make it a success, including designing posters and flyers and distributing them in the Bilton area.  She has a small team of very willing helpers who organise the tables and refreshments etc., and who are happy to put the church back to rights afterwards.

It is hoped that, in future, further crafts could be added so if you have a hobby you would like to share please come along to the next meeting on Monday 19 November.  Bring a friend and tell your neighbours about it.  Look out for future information in the church newsletter.

Jo Turnbull

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