A fundraising collaboration between community members and an artist/craftsperson

We are always seeking innovative ideas to include the wider community in the life of the church, and raise funds for essential repairs. Here is an account of a successful project in our village.

Kate Westcott Designs- Ancient plants linen tableware

The inspiration that comes from living in the English countryside is never ending to me. From the stark winter trees, to the bunches of tiny flowers of cow parsley in spring, the sun and shade of summer and then the most stunning colours of autumn. These incredible images inspire me all year round, through every beautiful season and appear in my work, through printing, painting and sculpting with wire. Using natural, ethically and environmentally sourced materials where possible, these beautiful items leave little impact on the Earth.

In 2021 I was contacted by two members of the village of Burrough on the Hill. They had initiated  a project, called "Time and Place"  to carry out  fundraising for their beautiful village church, St Mary the Virgin, which, along with many rural churches,  is in need of architectural and environmental maintenance and repair. This initial enquiry  developed into a fruitful collaboration and friendship as we put together our ideas.

"Time and Place"  had the idea of creating a print of plants from the bible. I thought this sounded a very intriguing proposal and was curious about what these plants might be. I started to research and was surprised to find how many plants from those ancient times are still around today. For the purpose of creating a strong design, I chose five upright plants which contrasted each other in their forms and had five different meanings.

I started with Flax which seemed important due to the fact that we are using linen to print on; it also stands for simplicity and practicality. Lily of the Valley, which comes next, is for purity and the sorrow of Mary. Thistle, which stands tall in the middle of the print is for determination against adversity. Next, we have Rose of Sharon, and this beautiful plant stands for love, beauty and healing. Finally on our right, we have Hyssop with its finely packed petals and leaves, and this represents cleansing. 

The final product is the illustrated set of pure linen tableware,  which can be bought by contacting Time and Place. at [email protected], or Kate Westcott through her webpage.

Each purchase of linen made, with the Ancient Plants of the Bible print on, will create a donation to St Mary the Virgin fundraising project.