Pennington remembers Prince Philip

As the nation mourns Prince Philip, Pennington continues its unique way to commemorate events of the last year, through #CrochetThroughCorona. A unique crochet version of the Duke of Edinburgh joins other community art on Pennington Church’s hedge, to celebrate his life and service to the country.

The Pink Vicar, Revd Rachel Noël, has led community crochet and knitting projects over the last year, including a 25ft Christmas tree and life size crochet nativity featured on BBC Breakfast in December 2020. For VE75, local war veteran Bill Matthews was celebrated in crochet, and there was a full Easter story, including a crochet Ascension Day cloud and Jesus feet suspended from a tree. Local school bubbles each created advent calendar boards to help the community countdown towards Christmas.

At the start of lockdown, 2020, there were over 1,500 knitted and crochet items at the vicarage, preparing for an Easter yarnbomb. These were used to spell out Pennington Stands Together on the hedge. As the advice changed to ‘Stay at Home’, yarn words were added, so that it said ‘Pennington Stands Together, Even When We’re Apart’. Revd Rachel crocheted two yarn figures and a 2m ruler, that went behind the bus stop. Throughout the year, these figures have evolved, with the addition of masks, poppies at Remembrance and later Christmas hats.

As we entered step 2 this week, emerging from lockdown, new words have appeared… Even when we’re ‘not quite so far’ apart, made in sail fabric donated by local business Sanders Sails, and the crochet figures now have pints of beer!
And now, as the nation mourns the death of Prince Philip, Rev Rachel has speedily recreated him in crochet and included him in the artwork on the hedge.
Many people from across the community have been involved in making items across the last year included in projects on the hedge.

The project is helping mental health across the community, giving a reason to keep going out for daily exercise, to see the new items on the hedge. Local photographer Helen Renouf has been capturing photos as the project unfolds. Helen said “Walk down the road to the chemist, school and pharmacy not only do you get to see a new art work has appeared, the amazing growing tree and the advent calendar last year.. items marking events as we emerge from lockdown… you get to see people stop, look and smile feeling proud they are part of something bigger... And everyday there is something to look forward too.”