Weaving Women’s Wisdom in Bradford (and Beyond)
Here are some recent updates from the Together in Service-funded Weaving Women’s Wisdom project by Touchstone in Bradford. The project brings together women into small groups to discuss the topic of wisdom – from identifying wise women in scripture to how they find their own wisdom – and use the stories found to collectively design and weave a rug. Each group’s rug, along with its stories, will be collected together for display in Touchstone’s yurt, which can be exhibited around the UK.
We have already visited and started off 12 groups in Bradford and the surrounding area. The groups vary in size, from 5-12 participants but each group has embraced the topic of women’s wisdom and designed varied and unique rugs relating to their discussion. Most of the groups are a mix of different faiths, mainly Christian and Muslim but a few groups are from one faith community, but very keen to meet with other participants in this project at the various launch events for the exhibition of the rugs that are planned. Venues for those launches are being explored – Bradford City Hall has been booked for after Easter, with interest from Bradford Cathedral, Leeds University and as part of an art trail in Roundhay, Leeds.
December saw us start another 3 groups, two of which were through contact with chaplaincies at Leeds and Bradford Universities. We also posted out 3 packs to groups further afield – Southampton, Cornwall and Derby. Through the publicity around this project, people have seen this as an opportunity to start a group, with friends and colleagues from other faith communities, with the sole purpose of deepening understanding of each other’s faith perspective, so although we are not visiting these groups initially, the ease with which this project can be started up has appealed to people – with promises of support if required!
We have managed to start revisiting groups already started to check on progress and have been encouraged by the deepening friendships within the groups as they work together on the rugs. As one group of Christian and Muslim women discussed women from their faith traditions, they agreed to use a quote from the Old Testament book of Esther on their rug because it fitted their discussion so well.