31 March 2012
St Anne’s parish in Newtown has just rehung its Stations of the Cross which were blessed in a moving ceremony on February 19.
The church has been reopened for nearly a year following renovations but the community held back from putting the Stations back on the walls because of a wish to use them in some way to recognise the community’s cultural diversity.
Parishioner Maria Rodgers came up with the idea of asking the different communities to contribute some textile or fabric from their culture. ‘We realised that there was really nothing in the church that actually represented the different groups. We do it with language in the liturgy but not with anything tangible and lasting.
‘We wanted to integrate it into what was already there rather than add something different.’
Maria says the groups contributed a wide variety of fabrics and textiles which helped to give a sense of the richness of the community.
The Stations are original but the metal surrounds have been removed. The fabrics were then stretched across a backing on which each image was mounted.
The project has given people a new way of looking at the Stations, Maria says.
‘Lots of people have been thanking me. People felt they were giving something of themselves and of their background to enrich our church.’
The next part of the project is to devise a plaque with an explanation of each Station and a pamphlet explaining the project.
Images: Fr Leone prepares to bless the eighth station while John Johnson explains that the Scottish tartan behind it is actually a New Zealand tartan. Maria Rodgers holds the candle.
Sam Cameron of Bedmo Construction prepares to hang the 11th Station with, behind him, the eighth (Scotland), ninth (Philippines) and 10th (Hungary).