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Methodist Tapestries Collection

Methodism’s global story through the medium of needlework

Artist transferring sketch to linen with lightbox

Built in 1760, High House Chapel in northern England had, until recently, boasted of being the oldest Methodist Chapel in continuous use. Wesley preached there 13 times and, at the height of the 18th-century lead-mining industry, this small village chapel had over 1,000 Sunday worshippers. However, in recent years repair costs proved beyond the budget of the ageing membership, forcing the fellowship to cease worship there in September 2019.

Located high in the North Pennine hills, near to the source of the River Wear, both the Chapel and a nearby monument that marks the spot where Wesley first preached in the area are nationally protected sites. Fortuitously, or, as many firmly believe, through the will of God, in 1984 the Weardale Museum was founded in the adjoining former preacher’s house. This small, independent folk museum, run entirely by volunteers, has now purchased the chapel and after the renovation will use the building to display its collections. This will continue mission through heritage by telling the Methodist story through an exciting and innovative set of embroideries: a Methodist Tapestry.

Taking inspiration from The Bayeux Tapestry, the Quaker Tapestry and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, the aim is to create a set of embroidered panels telling many of the wonderful stories of Methodism not only from the UK but from around the world.

An artist at The Weardale Museum has already designed sketches that tell the story of High House Chapel and Methodism in Weardale, as a means of explaining the concept to interested parties. The Durham Embroiders Guild is creating the local “High House Story” panels, but the aim is to go much further than this. Individuals and groups are invited to take part in providing both well-known and more obscure Methodist stories from around the world.

Each panel will be 50 x 50 cm square with an image in a 30 cm diameter central circle telling a story, accompanied by a short text (150 words) detailing the narrative. On receipt of the finished panels, The Weardale Museum will have them mounted, framed and displayed within the Methodist Tapestry Collection in the historic High House Chapel.

We are seeking expressions of interest from Methodist Societies, craft groups and embroiderers who would like to take part in this exciting venture.

Methodist Tapestry Collection

For more information, please contact



Panel subject matter   

  • General Methodist history
  • Local stories of Methodism
  • Suggestions available on request

Medium and requirements

  • Linen panel (with design applied) and initial set of threads supplied
  • Use any embroidery techniques appropriate for framed item
  • Return to Weardale Museum for framing and display


  • Agree subject and design with Tapestry team; advice available throughout
  • Keep and share photographic record
  • Return to Weardale Museum for framing and display
Concept design of one of the panels
The first stitches of the project

Liz Walsh lives in the beautiful North Pennine hills with her husband and two rehomed greyhounds. She is interested in local history and also participates in living history events relating to the 6th to 11th centuries, where she plays musical instruments relevant to the period. Although rheumatoid arthritis precludes her assisting with the sewing, she is delighted to be involved with the Methodist Tapestries Project as its Administrator. / Photos courtesy of the Methodist Tapestries Collection