Altar, Pulpit and Lectern Falls

Although the majority of the items I produce are Stoles and Chasubles I am also able to produce bespoke items for your church or chapel including Altar, Pulpit and Lectern Falls. Please take a look at some of my latest commissions below for some ideas and click below to contact me if you’d like to commission me to produce an item or set for your church. I’d love to hear from you.


Altar and pulpit falls for St Peter’s, Stratford Upon Avon

The brief for this commission was to include the crossed keys of St Peter and the biblical reference to Peter being a fisherman when he called to be a disciple.

These pieces began as a series of sketched ideas with a shoal of fish caught in a fishing net. The finished design for the altar fall was chosen as it was felt it captured the feeling of the fish swirling around inside the net. The lectern fall using the same fish but a much simplified version of the altar fall.

These pieces combine the use of goldwork techniques in the crossed keys, where layers of felt are stitched down first and then the gold kid leather applied on top. The raw edges of the leather are then surrounded by hand couched twist thread. Also used is the reverse applique technique for the fish, which are worked as individual pieces, attached once they are finished. The water is machine embroidered applique and then the whole design is completed by adding the net, which is created using hand couched gold metallic 3ply twist. These threads extend beyond the edge of the square design giving a further dimension.

Altar and pulpit falls for St Peter’s, Stratford Upon Avon

This commission was inspired by the Lutyens window in the crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool. I had previously made a white chasuble and companion stole that the minister so liked that they wanted to use elements of the design again in these pieces.

They were created using the reverse applique technique of layering the silks on top of each other, stitching the lines from the reverse and then cutting away the silks to reveal the colours underneath. This enables me to create the fine points needed which would be very difficult to achieve using other methods. The centre circle is created using the goldwork technique of padded layers of felt that get increasingly bigger and then overlayed with gold kid leather to create a smoothe domed effect.

The rich purples gold and silver Dupion silks together with the geometric design add a really dynamic feel to these pieces I think.

Table cloth for Hope Community Church, Aintree, Liverpool

Do This In Remembrance Of Me table cloth

This cloth was commissioned by an uncle for his godson at the beginning of his ministry. I was asked to include the words ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ and the symbols of the eucharist – a chalice, some bread, wheat stalks and a bunch of grapes.

The chalice was worked with a thin layer of felt behind it to give it an extra dimension. The other symbols are all machine embroidered applique in gold metallic thread directly on to the cloth. The wording is created using hand couched burgundy 3ply twist thread. As the cloth is draped with one point over the front of the table, this triangle of the cloth is in ivory Dupion silk, the rest of the cloth is cotton. The whole cloth was then lined in the same cotton fabric.

Altar and lectern falls for St James’, Alveston, Stratford Upon Avon

Looking down the choir at the altar fall

The Pulpit Fall

This commission came as a memorial for a beloved husband, father and grandfather. I was asked to incorporate the clients Scottish Celtic roots and symbols connected to St James.

I began with a visit to the church where I took lots of photographs, I was particularly drawn to the stencils on the ceiling of the choir. The colours and style were very Arts and Crafts, a style I particularly love. These motifs and the colours inspired the panels down either side of the main image, on the arms of the central cross and in the ‘swooshes’. I incorporated some Celtic knotwork on the circular element of Celtic cross, this effect was achieved by stitching channels between two layers of fabric and then pulling woolen thread through the channels, creating a raised line. The shell of St James features right in the centre of the whole design, worked in a padded gold kid leather technique. The ‘swooshes’ behind the central cross came about because the client wanted the design to have a dynamic feel of movement. The pulpit fall has elements of the main piece with the shell of St James at it’s centre.

This was a really challenging commission for me due to its sheer size and the complexity of the design, just working out how much fabric I needed was so difficult, I have to say thank you to my mathematically minded son for his help in this department!! Then Covid struck and it is only very recently that I have been able to visit the church to see it in situ.

Pulpit Fall for St Andrew’s Church, Hampstead

This pulpit fall was commissioned in memory of a parishioner whose name was Olive. It was decided that there should be a dove, a reference to Olive and the church of St Andrew. It was to be brightly coloured as the lighting in the church was quite yellow. We decided that the dove should carry an olive branch in its claws.

From my Blog

  • St James’ Altar Fall – Design Chosen, Fabric Bought
    I have now received confirmation, the design has been chosen and fabric samples have been selected – now to start the difficult job of turning the design into the real altar fall, no small task I can assure you. I…

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  • Altar Fall, St James, Alveston
    This project has been buzzing around in my head for quite a while since the idea was first suggested to me by the vicar of St James, who just happens to be my brother in law! It has actually been…

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  • The Crossed Keys of St Peter
    I’ve been working on the Altar and Lectern falls for St Peter’s Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon and wanted to talk about a couple of techniques I’ve used in this design, Appliqué and a special goldwork technique to add a 3D effect to…

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