St Alfege's new pew and altar cushions

A special Millennium art project

In 2010 the PCC circulated a questionnaire asking members of the congregation to prioritise and select between a number of possible improvements that might be made to the church to celebrate the Millennium. They highlighted the shortage of pew cushions in the church in their responses.


In 2011a community art project was led by Françoise Dupré, an experienced award-winning artist, to explore images and artwork that reflected the church building. Sylvia Bancroft, a member of the congregation working in the fashion business, saw that the designs which had come out of the art project could successfully be incorporated into a fabric to cover new cushions.


Working with Henry Bertrand, one of England’s premier fabric manufacturers, Sylvia produced three samples in possible colour ways to see how they would look in the church. In November 2011 the congregation was asked to choose between them and a clear favourite emerged.


We selected Safefoam, an established pew cushion manufacturer, to make the cushions. Church members were asked whether they would be prepared to contribute towards the cost and the responses were very positive. Virtually every member of the regular congregation has given an amount of money (Gift-aided in most cases) which will cover the cost of a space for them and their family.


Safefoam pulled out all the stops to deliver and install the cushions a few days before the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the start of our Millennium celebrations.


We were able to install new cushions in all the pews on the ground floor, in the choir stalls and around the altar rails. Our old pew cushions now adorn the seats in the upstairs gallery.


 More information about Safefoam can be found here: 


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