Heather Mills writes ...
The prayer shawl ministry began at Earlsdon in October 2007. Since then events have confirmed that God did indeed call us to this ministry. A core group (currently 9 knitters) meet in Wellspring on Thursdays and there is always one or more present throughout Wellspring’s opening hours. Many people coming in for coffee or lunch stop by our table to ask what we are doing which enables us to witness to our belief in the power of prayer whilst talking about such an eminently non threatening activity – knitting! The Thursday knitters come from various churches, both Methodist and other denominations. In addition members of a knitting group, which meets in a home in Earlsdon, have made shawls for the ministry. Other people have wool to knit at home.
Many of the shawls are knitted “to order”. That is, we are asked to knit for specific individuals and told something of the reason for the request. The reasons for the requests have ranged widely, from illness to celebration, from worrying or stressful circumstances to individuals rising to new challenges. Some requests come from our Minister and the pastoral leaders but many come from individuals in our church community. Some requests are for members of our community here in Earlsdon church and many are for people in the wider community. Always, the knitters pray throughout the making process, and the finished shawls receive a blessing in church before being given to the recipient.
Those of us knitting have found participating in this ministry a profoundly enriching and humbling experience, and we know from the feedback we have received from many receiving the shawls, that the constant reminder that they have been and are being prayed for, is something which touches them deeply.
We purchase the materials as they are needed and from the beginning have frequently been prompted to know that a particular yarn or colour is right for a given individual. From time to time those requesting a shawl have been able to tell us such things as well. There is always a little wool left over as each shawl is finished and this is passed to the group at the Cathedral who knit blankets for disaster relief and are always crying out for oddments and left over wool.
We are grateful for the support the prayer shawl ministry has received from this church community, in terms of allowing us to operate in Wellspring, for their prayer support and not least the generous donations from individuals which enables us to purchase materials.
We thank God for the privilege He has given us of serving Him through the prayer shawl ministry.