An arts project working with people with learning difficulties has transformed Saint Stephen’s garden by wrapping its trees in colourful knitted Christmas decorations.
The alternative Christmas decorations are fitting accompaniment to Saint Stephen’s Christmas with a difference programme.
Visitors to Saint Stephen’s Cafe – now serving delicious vegetarian Christmas dinners with all the mouthwatering trimmings – get a colourful treat as they reach the Cafe through the garden.
The trees are dressed in woollen jumpers while inside the church even the statues of saints around the pulpit are wearing little hats and scarves.
The knitted trees project is the work of – no, not grafitti but - Knitiffi, a collective of knit artists.
The explosion of community knitting at Saint Stephen’s involved over 50 people.
“Our mission is to make our world a brighter, happier place,” says Knitiffi coordinator, Ali Brown.
The Trust’s Expressions creative group dreams up new projects and ideas, working towards exhibitions and installations.
On Sunday 12 December, Knitiffi, made up of staff and service users from Aspects and Milestones Trust, yarn-bombed the trees in Saint Stephen’s church garden in the heart of Bristol city centre.
Many of the knitters are people with learning disabilities and mental health needs, who are supported by Aspects and Milestones Trust (soon to become Milestones Trust). One Knitiffi member has developed a passion for making pom poms, and his colourful snowballs can be seen dotted around the church garden.
City Canon, Tim Higgins, says:
“ ‘Banksey in Bloom’! A great way to send the message that Saint Stephen’s spirituality is about a creative and warm centre full of surprises and healing purpose.”