Charles' Story

The kneeler at St. Columba's Church in North West Washington DC, USA

Our client Charles' surprise with the quality of the stitching of a kneeler finished by FCW prisoners

"The community at St. Columba's Church in North West Washington DC had the goal for many years of putting a hand stitched kneeler in every Pew. For this purpose, they had developed a variety of  patterns including some Celtic ones, some floral designs and some depicting bible stories.  When we joined the church some years ago, I undertook to stitch one of these -- white lilies on a strong blue background.  I thought myself lucky since it was one of the most beautiful patterns the church was using. Unfortunately, though, over the next four years or so, I made very little progress in the face of the demands of children and work and the distractions of daily life, my guilt rising little by little as time when by. Then about a year ago my sister, who lives on the South Coast and is a serious needlewoman, suggested I should contact Fine Cell Work and seek their help, which I did. They took on the task of completing my kneeler. I sent it off and six months later, it reappeared on my doorstep in Washington.

We really didn't know how it would turn out and it was with some excitement that we opened the package.  And then we were delighted to see a piece of craftsmanship  that surpassed all our expectations.  Truly, a thing of beauty.  And our church stitchers were equally pleased - so that I was off the hook at last!

Many thanks to Fine Cell Work and the prisoner whose skill and effort created such a lasting treasure.


After a couple of years, we received another email from Charles, saying:

"What must now be a couple of years ago, Gavin [last name omitted] completed the needlework for a kneeler of lilies on a blue background for my church in Washington DC.

We just finished all of them. The end of a ten year effort. Last Sunday, during the Pentecostal service, those who had stitched a kneeler took them up to the altar for a dedication and a long round of applause from the congregation. Gavin's work was amongst the very best. And my story of how it came to be was also amongst the best too! 

I was your representative on Sunday. I am very grateful to Fine Cell Works and to Gavin for having made that celebration possible. 

So, again, many, many thanks.


(1) Comments

  • Gill Barber
    13 February 2012, 07:50

    I too have had some work done by your wonderful stitchers and daily enjoy their craftsmanship. Well done FCW workers we are truly blessed to have access to such skill.

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