One for the Vicars
Intel from VicarI don't have accurate figures on the ecclesiastical readership of The Tweed Pig. I can tell you that most of our readers are based in the UK, US and Germany. I can also tell you that our most popular post ever is the delightful The Singing Chelsea Pensioner. The number of vicars that read us? Again — no idea.
However, one of our tunnel-collared readers got in touch recently after reading the post on eminent gownmaker Daniel Hanson and the mention of chasubles and copes.
Were we aware, our vicar asked, of Hayes and Fitch, a fourth-generation business that was established in 1882 and over the last 130 years or so has served the liturgical needs of the church by manufacturing and supplying church furnishings? No, we were not. They also offer renovation services to the church. Our vicar thinks they are a splendid lot.
He also mentioned the equally splendid Vanpoulles. A hundred-year-old company supplying ecclesiastical requisites. That's one of the chasubles they supply above. Hand-embroidered with a 'Four Evangelists design on red velvet banding', and made from cantate fabric (99% wool, with 1% gold thread). Below we have the All Seasons Venetian Tapestry Cope with 'with hood and orphreys in rich red velvet, edged with dice braid' and 'embroidered motif on hood'. Absolutely stunning. Such craftsmanship always deserves a mention. (It might be enough for some of our readers to consider taking the cloth.)
I thought Easter might be an appropriate period to mention these companies. And also wish any passing vicars a happy Easter at this busy time.
Tweedy's Thought: If your profession has its own specialist outfitters that have been around for some time, do let me know.