About St. Martha’s
A small friendly Church situated at the Western edge of Tring now entirely owned and maintained by the Methodist Community
Originally built as a daughter church to St. Peter & St. Paul, the Parish Church in the centre of Tring, but was never completed or consecrated. The wooden structure was added about the turn of the 20th Century and a porch in the early 1960s. The C of E membership was low in the 1970s, and use of the building was offered to the Methodist Congregation and as the original Methodist Chapel in Langdon Street was suffering from dry rot, is was decided to abandon that building, and the money from the sale of the land was put towards the cost of a new joint Anglican/Methodist Church Hall, situated to the rear of the Parish Church.
The Church is now wholly Methodist-owned, and has been since 2002, and plans have now been approved for an extension at the rear of the building to include a modern kitchen, all-access toilet and storage area. These are all badly needed to help the church meet the needs of its congregation and usefulness in the neighbourhood. These plans were finally approved, on the 23rd of April 2014, after many trials and tribulations. We shall now seek quotes for the building work to commence !
St. Martha’s Kneelers
Having finished the wall-hanging in the autumn of 2007 the sewing ladies felt they wanted to continue the companionable meetings and maybe create something else. Looking around the church they felt new altar kneelers might be in order and the task would be started in the New Year.
The ladies met in early 2008 and discussed ideas. Everyone liked the idea of flowers, especially wild flowers, through the season and the diamond pattern linking the eight kneelers together. Marianne agreed to draw up the design. The canvas is of a relative high count (10×10) to allow for arthritic fingers. The colours were chosen painstakingly to be true to nature as possible. A neutral background was chosen, partly to show off the flowers and partly not to clash with the carpet, as there was talk of this being replaced. The backing is leather. After some small hiccups stitching got under way in 2009. To enable more ladies to participate in the stitching, the sides, front and back, were stitched separately and later sewn back on. Eight ladies tackled the flowers.
Looking at the altar, from left to right, the flowers change through the seasons, from winter to spring, summer to autumn back to winter. (Note that the flower in the right-hand panel of each kneeler appears again in the left-hand panel of the next kneeler).
The flowers are:
Willow, Aconites, Snowdrops, Hazel, Daisy, Crocus, Periwinkle and Jasmine
Celandine, Daffodil, Violets, Cowslip, Heartsease (Viola) and Bluebell,
Buttercup, Lily of the Valley, Arum, Tulip, Dandelion and Dogrose
Cranesbill, Ox-eye daisy, Foxglove, Clover, Strawberry and Honeysuckle,
Harebell, Ragged Robin, Lady Smock, Poppy, Hawkweed and Sweet pea
Scabious, Cornflower, Corncockle, Plantain, Red Campion and Bindweed
St. John’s wort, Teasel, Aster, Bramble, Hazel and Rosehip
Sloe, Cyclamen, Christmas rose, Holly, Mistletoe and Ivy
All the people listed below have contributed in countless ways in the sewing and creation of the kneelers.
Shirley Blake, Shirley Bosley, Jean Buchanan, Chris Burrows, Barbara Clark, Sheila Davies, Marion Dickinson, Joan Goode, Jean Hemley, Barr Kazer, Marianne Sands, Carol Scribbins, Shirley Thomas, Sandra Thorne, Jennifer Watkins and Mary Whiles.
After almost 4 years, from planning to the final stitch, the kneelers were finished. They were dedicated at Harvest Festival 2011, an apt service as the whole project has been one of giving – by the sewing group as they supported each other over the years, and to the community who worship at St Martha’s.