CREATIVE crafty parishioners are nearing the completion of a labour of love to mark their church’s 100 years.

Churchgoers have been meeting for several months on a weekly basis to create what promises to be a spectacular wallhanging to celebrate for ever, Yelverton Catholic Church centenary.

The mostly female team have been working on individual pieces of needlework portraying landmarks of the parish which will be sewn together around a form of a Crucifixion cross in the centre. The separate squares, around 40 in total, will be bounded by an artistic starry sky and a horizon of Dartmoor tors.

The mini-artworks will be joined in a fabric collage and illustrates the parish which stretches across many miles of villages, towns, countryside and Dartmoor, and includes Roborough, Ivybridge, Two Bridges, Princetown and up the rivers Tavy and Walkham.

Elizabeth Bailey, of the congregation and experienced seamstress, co-ordinated the project and marshalled the sewers. She said: “I’m so pleased at how the wallhanging is progressing, we’re on course to finish in time for the centenary service in September. The ladies have been fantastic. They’re so dedicated and take it really seriously. I’m so proud of them and what they’ve achieved, both as a team and individually. This is going to be a very fitting focal point of the celebrations.

“Not only is it the centrepiece for this important historical year, but will be here forever as a reminder of what we have achieved over the decades and what a large parish it is that unites us, compared with smaller Church of England parishes and therefore, what different backgrounds people come from to make up our congregations and community.”

The work of art will be hung in the church permanently and unveiled at a special centenary service with Parish Catholic Priest Fr. Cyriacus Uzochukwu.

Elizabeth said: “The very act of coming together to create the hanging is special and gave us a chance to meet different people who we wouldn’t meet because we attend different services.”

She especially praised those beginners who took part: “Some told me they didn’t think they had the skills to contribute, because we had people of every level of ability and experience sewing. I admire them for taking the plunge. One lady was adamant she couldn’t do it, but she turned out to be very good and came up with some very creative ideas.”

Anne Barons said: “I’m really enjoying contributing. I love sewing. It’s a great way of meeting different people. I come from a farming background, so I made the drystone wall and gate design. I’m excited to see the hanging on the wall.”

A list of sewers and their work will be included on the hanging.