A Final Reflection

Anna Bessant reflects on the journey of the Glass Quilt …close-up

This project a strange marriage of glass, steel, wood, felt and prayer has been making a pilgrimage around the Cathedrals and Dioceses of Wales. Finally spending a week at the Welsh Assembly in time for the Friday of the Retreat Association’s ….. STOP IN THE NAME OF GOD! Weekend.Bringing the prayers of the people of Wales to the Heart of Governance. The Glass Quilt is a meditation piece. It comprises of 49 stained glass roundels in a woven metal screen. These roundels are Bezant crosses -­‐ nine circles encompassed by the tenth -­‐ illustrating the parable of the Lost Coin – the lost and the found. The four colour ways give the impression of a Jerusalem cross, which represents the four ancient sites of Christianity and Pilgrimage.(Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome ) This Glass Quilt housed in a Mongolian yurt forms part of the wall tent with glass quiltstructure and together they creat a space for meditation. ‘And He pitched His Tent among us’….. For 18 months we have journeyed resting and providing resting in our ancient sacred spaces. A sacred space within a sacred space. We have reflected on what it is to be a Pilgrim people and rejoiced in the parable of the Lost Coin. Schools have visited, stories told, Eucharist’s celebrated, toddlers comforted, sandwiches eaten, babies nursed….. Mongolian yurts are organic living structures-­‐ the technology is both ancient and timeless. Felt is held sacred by the Mongolian people because it is life sustaining . Felt making is bound up with the spirit of this nomadic people, and is part of their spiritual life. Yurts are white because they are to be pearls in the landscape. Each time the yurt is moved, the central wheel of the roof structure becomes once more the centre of the universe-­‐ a people realigned-­‐ a world reimagined. At one time their only stone structures were made to hold their dead, so the stone buildings of settled peopleslove God label were held in dread – no home for the living. But our understanding is different -­‐for us the very stones of our ancient sacred building can live .Resonating with centuries of prayer, bearing witness to our faith, and giving home to our living Church. Stones can leap for joy and truly ‘thin places’ can be hewn from heavy masonry and Faith. Yet still our Cathedrals embedded in the architecture of permanence on a grand scale – have found this tiny transient yurt with its stories and its comfort somewhat unsettling at times. The GLASS QUILT that arrives quietly gathers its prayers and disappears. Fleeting – transient-­‐ changing. Created and recreated -­‐the same but different. God of Light and Possibility we thank you for the journey Amen.

Website: www.theglassquilt.co.uk

Blog: www.theglassquilt.wordpress.com

Twitter: @TheGlassQuilt

tent with labels

The Glass Quilt Liturgy

Some new pieces written by James Ashdown for the Glass Quilt liturgy on July 4, 2015 at the Welsh assembly building:


We have traveled

along rivers

on roads long and tedious

past sheep

through towns

across the land of Wales

There have been


and disappointments

friendly people

and tired people

there have been the ordinary

and the extraordinary

people of Wales

And we have traveled

sometimes when we haven’t felt like traveling

sometimes in the joy of the road

But we have

kept on traveling

All of us



And we have arrived here


in this time

and in this place

and we will be…


just for a moment


and wait in silence

wondering if God might be here


two or more voices could be used

God of the journey

we thank you for this Glass Quilt

and its pilgrimage across Wales

For the people who crafted it out of glass and metal and woven cloth

For the people who carried it over the long miles and assembled it and dismantled it and continued the journey

For the people who welcomed it and gave it a home

For the people who prayed in it

and the people who laughed in it

For the people who sang in it

and the people who were silent

For the people who loved it

and the people who weren’t quite sure what to make of it

For all the people who have become part of it

and have been bathed in its light

Bless all of them

and all those who are still to become part of its story

God of light

may we know your light today

may we be drenched in it

may we be bathed in it

may we be filled


Apologies for the long delay in posting. We moved and have had a long delay in getting broadband! But the Glass Quilt has still been travelling round Wales, if not exactly in the way we envisioned!

Here is what has been happening

It was at St Mary’s Priory Church Abergavenny from the 28th of Jan until the 14th Feb. Lots of schools visited it and it was used weekly for the all age service and toddler groups.
It goes to the Welsh Assembly from the 3rd-10 of July with a service on the 4th of July at 2pm and before that it is hoped it will be at Llandaff cathedral