Stitching the Cross: Embroidery Retreats

28 February, 10:00–16:00
Workshop / Course
Christ Church Cathedral

Refine your skills or take your first steps in the ancient art of ecclesiastical embroidery with our series of four interlinked Embroidery Retreats on Wednesdays February 28th, March 6th, March 13th, and March 20th.

You'll receive expert tuition at each day from Suellen Pedley, the highly trained and qualified leader of our Cathedral Embroidery Centre. Suellen will teach you how to stitch four different types of cross, supported by talks from our clergy reflecting on the history and spiritual meaning of each image. The days will also include lunch in our world-famous dining hall and plenty of time to get to know your fellow members of the Oxford embroidery community. All materials will be provided (but please do bring your own thimble and scissors if needed).

Tickets for each of the days cost £60, inclusive of lunch and refreshments, with a 50% discount available for booking all four days together at the same time. A 50% discount is also available on a per-event basis for full-time students, clergy and ordinands.

If you would like to book or inquire further, please email the Diocesan Canon, Sally Welch, at

Two members of the Cathedral Embroidery Centre add finishing touches to a new cope


10 am: Meet (Tom Gate) 
Meet at Tom Gate to be escorted to the Deanery Offices, where the workshops will take place.

10:10 am: Coffee, Welcome and Introductions 
Meet Suellen Pedley (Founder of Christ Church Cathedral Embroidery Centre) and Sally Welch (Diocesan Canon at Christ Church).

10:30 am: Eucharist (Chapel of Remembrance). 
You are invited to share in one of the round of daily services, taking place in a side chapel of the Cathedral.

11 am: First Talk (Deanery Offices)
A short introduction to the meaning and background of the cross style of the day, given by a member of the Cathedral clergy.

11:15 am Embroidery (Deanery Offices)
Begin your embroidery in the comfort of the ground floor rooms of the North East Canonry, one of the buildings in the famous Tom Quad. Instruction will be provided by our experienced teacher, Suellen. All materials provided - but please bring your own scissors and thimble!

1 pm: Lunch (Great Hall)

2 pm: Second Talk (Deanery Offices)
Further information and suggestions for reflection on the cross of the day, given by the day’s speaker.

2:30 pm: Embroidery (Deanery Offices)
Continuing the morning’s work, with expert advice and help always at hand.

3:15 pm: Tea (embroidery continues)

4 pm: Finish


Revd Canon Sally Welch

28th February: Revd Dr Sally Welch
The Tau

Sally Welch is the Diocesan Canon with a focus on pilgrimage and community engagement. A Parish priest for over twenty years, she is the author of a number of books on spirituality. She will be speaking on the tau and its place within Franciscan spirituality.


Zachary Guiliano, the Priest Vicar

6th March: Revd Dr Zack Guiliano
The Fleurette

Zachary Guiliano is the Cathedral’s Priest Vicar, focused on pastoral care of the Cathedral’s congregations as well as opportunities for learning. He is also an academic historian with a
focus on sermons and commentaries from the early Middle Ages. His addresses will consider the fleurette and the Virgin Mary’s role as a witness to Christ’s crucifixion and as the mother who shared in his suffering.



Revd Philippa White, Cathedral Precentor

13th March: Revd Philippa White
The Dream of the Rood

Philippa White is Precentor at Christ Church, currently writing an MA dissertation on Old English
biblical poetry. She will be speaking on the tenth-century Old English poem The Dream of the Rood and its vision of Christ’s cross as the ‘sublime victory-tree.’

Revd Canon Peter Moger

20th March: Revd Canon Peter Moger
St Cuthbert’s Cross

Peter Moger is the Sub Dean of Christ Church. He has served for thirty years in cathedral and
parish ministry in England and Scotland, and has a particular interest in music and liturgy. He will be speaking on St Cuthbert’s Cross.

Two embroiderers are working at folding wooden embroidery frames in the cathedral Slype, a small room with a wooden floor and a sloping ceiling. The Slype is also used by the adult singers of the Choir and so there are shelves on the left with some robes and music. Light is streaming into and filling the room through a large windowed door opening to the garden beyond.

Ecclesiastical Embroidery is an ancient traditional art form. Pictured: Two of our volunteer embroiderers work at their frames in the Cathedral Slype. Photo: Ian Wallman