Moortown Baptist Church, 204 King Lane, Leeds LS17 6AA. Map Tel: (0113) 2693750 A member of the YBA. A registered charity No 1128960. Terms of use

Let your heart play a part in MBC history; help Karen complete her lockdown banner

16 June 2020

During lockdown Karen Ross has been busy making another banner for Moortown Baptist Church. However, she needs your help to finish it. For almost forty years Karen, often on her own at other times with others has been making the banners that we see displayed at the front of church. Over this time she has skilfully crafted flags and banners that proclaim the importance of specific Christian festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Advent and other less ones that reflect certain themes like for example light, hope, love and peace. 

Right now Karen is putting the finishing touches to a spectacular piece of work which encourages us all to put Jesus at the heart of the matter. As you will see from our picture the heart theme spreads out from the centre, rainbow fashion. It’s not far off finished but rather than completing it herself Karen is inviting you to create the outer rim by making or cutting out hearts and sending them to her. 

The hearts which will eventually go on the outside of the orange ones must be red and no bigger than 2 to 3 inches in size. They can however be made of absolutely anything (felt, knitted wool, silk, card etc.) as long as it’s possible for Karen to either stitch or glue them on to the finished banner.

In total Karen is wanting 50 to 60 hearts and all she asks is that when you have done yours you write your name on the back, pop it in an envelope marked Karen Ross, Hearts and that you either drop it through the letter box at church or post them to her at Moortown Baptist Church, 204 King Lane, Leeds LS17 6AA. 

So let’s all get busy. 

When Karen contacted us and asked for our help recruiting heart makers I asked her how it all began. This is what she said.

I think I made the first banner at Christmas 1981: The Light of the World. Someone saw a card I had made for their birthday and asked if I could make a larger one to hang up!  I had a go and enjoyed it.

Initially I made them all myself although Sheila Richardson helped to sew the backgrounds on a couple. The dates are on the corners.
Many years later a group worked on the Harvest banner with me. I plainly remember Jane Pollard sitting on the floor pregnant with Libby!! 
Mainly they were friends who offered to help. Most Banners stayed on my floor for weeks, especially the biggest ones. I had a picture in my mind or a text.
Jean Hiley and Catherine Cudahay also helped to sew pieces on to three later ones. We used to meet every Thursday in church. As the group grew it became impossible for me to make them for a lot of people to work on. When they are hung up you cannot see lovely embroidery so I stopped that. It has to be simple and effective so now I do plain writing so our children can read them.
If you look closely you will see that all my banners have a Christian fish somewhere in the design. When I was teaching I wore my fish badge all the time at school. In fact some of the deaf children I had in one school used to called me Fish! Partly because I was signing and they called me Ross fish fingers but also because of my Christian fish.  I’m still putting the fish into anything I make including my new quilling pictures.

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