St Wulfram’s: Are you sitting comfortably?

Gordon Lewis mends a chair in St Wulfram's.
Gordon Lewis mends a chair in St Wulfram's.

FEW will be aware but a small team at St Wulfram’s Church volunteer for the seemingly endless task of making sure the congregation are sitting comfortably.

If you visit St Wulfram’s Church on a Monday morning you are almost certain to come across the small group working away, mending the chair seats.

The team is led by Judith Kenna who has trained fellow volunteers Gordon Lewis, Jenny O’Mahony and Diana and Shaun Power in the art of weaving lengths of sea grass to create a durable and comfortable seat.

Between them they have restored 100-150 chairs over the past two years or so. Using one of several patterns, of which ‘basket weave’ has been found to be the most successful, each chair takes about six hours work,

When the eminent architect Gilbert Scott started restoring St Wulfram’s Church in the 1860s, he cleared out the box pews and replaced them with rows of chairs. Thanks to him, nearly 150 years later, by moving the chairs around as needed, the church is able to offer Grantham a flexible space for services, concerts and exhibitions.

Meanwhile the satisfying but never-ending job of restoring the chairs goes on. Anyone who would like to try their hand at this time-honoured craft is welcome to drop in on a Monday between 10am and noon - just get weaving!