Stole Making

Aug 17, 2021

There are many elements to ordination. The stole, as one of these, has come to be associated with the leadership of rituals. In this post, you’ll hear from three graduates who are bringing this additional element of their craft to our community.

Cecilia; When asked about what motivated her to create stoles, she noted:

“Over the course of the last few months, I looked extensively for a stole for my Ordination as OneSpirit minister, but I really struggled to find anything which made my heart flutter with joy and excitement. In the end, I decided to create my own design with fabrics I absolutely loved. Having lost the majority of my work as a singer-musician last year because of the pandemic, a moment of inspiration came, and I decided to create stoles in the hope of creating an alternative income and one that would really fire me up creatively. I set about designing what I hope are beautiful and unique stoles, reflecting my love of nature, colour and design. I often use the most exquisitely detailed embroidered fabrics. A wonderful and talented neighbour makes them and she is as passionate about the stoles as I am. It’s true to say that they are created with love. Designing these stoles feeds into my passion for creativity and it’s a joy selling to customers on a worldwide basis and hearing the stories of how these stoles become an important part of the honouring of different life events; be it a wedding, funeral or ordination. I am hoping to keep building Serenity Stoles, so that I am able to continue my work tending to the spiritual needs of others, especially at the end of life. I am a volunteer Chaplain at my local hospice and I’m looking forward to getting back to in-person community support. I love that Serenity Stoles is a business which is serving ministers and celebrants with wide-ranging work so that it connects me to like-minded people and a larger network of open-spirited people, who are equally called to be of service.”

To find out more about Serenity Stoles, visit Cecilia’s Etsy store.

Maureen; Maureen has always worked with textiles and has the following to share about what motivated her to pursue the craft of stole making:

“My name is Maureen Pelling and I work under Maureen Pelling Stoles. As I approached my ordination in 2010 it felt natural to create my own stole, the quietness of stitching was a good antidote to all that was going on! Following this, friends started asking me to make their stoles and so my business evolved. I keep a small number of stoles in stock which can be purchased, but mostly I now make bespoke ones. I love the process of working with those who come to me, to listen and discuss what they require, to very often hear the story behind it is a privilege and then to weave everything together into a personal stole for their ministry is always an honour. I feel this has now become a large part of my own ministry.”

You can find out more about Maureen’s work here. 

Kate; Kate got into stole making when she made her own ordination stole in 2013:

“[My original stoles] led to one or two requests from colleagues and from the Class of 2017, for which I was on the mentor team. When our tutors suggested to that Class that they find ways of ensuring that they could create a simple altar anywhere, I began developing my unique folding altar boxes. Later, looking for an application for my newly-found felt-making skills, I created smaller, portable, meditation altars. Since then, I have continued to make stoles for OneSpirit ordinands and ministers, and for Christian ministers, as well as altar boxes and meditation pouches for a variety of clients. I keep a small stock of stoles but make mostly commissions, working with clients to create what will best express their devotion and their service. This work absolutely echoes the work of crafting a ceremony. I work with silk, linens, and cotton, before hand-embroidering all motifs. It is dedicated, creative, and contemplative work, and has become a significant part of my ministry – serving the service.”

Learn more about Kate’s ‘Walking in Spirit: Making for Ministry’ here.

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