This embroidery was designed and worked by ladies of the congregation, namely Mrs. Marjory G Muir, Mrs. Joy Armstrong, Mrs. Ellen McCallum, Miss Jean Grier and Mrs. Florence Fulton.
It comprises three panels with borders and was completed between November 1990 and March 1992. The work is of real professional standard. In the centre panel is St Cuthbert, with the Coat of Arms of the Bishop of Lindisfarne and a pictorial representation of St Cuthbert’s Church, Saltcoats forming the two side panels.
St Cuthbert is always associated with Lindisfarne, where in 635 St Aidan, Irish born, Iona trained founded a church and monastery, which became the Mother Church of Northumbria. Nine saints and sixteen bishops were associated with Lindisfarne, of whom St Aidan was the first and St Cuthbert the sixth.
On the night of August 31st 651, the night that St Aidan died, a sturdy youth called Cuthbert, aged about 17 years, was tending sheep in the Lammermuir hills, near Melrose. He saw a vision of a holy soul being borne to heaven, as if in a Globe of fire. Events proved that it was St Aidan. Thereafter, Cuthbert decided to dedicate his life to the Service of God, according to the so-called “Anonymous Life of St Cuthbert”, written in 700 and “Life of St Cuthbert”, by the Venerable Bede in 720. These two accounts are the main sources for our knowledge of the man, who was destined to become the most renowned and best remembered of all the northern saints. Countless churches were to be dedicated to him, the length and breadth of Britain, and many miracles were associated with him.
St Cuthbert continually, in his latter years, craved solitude as a means of becoming closer to God, and became a holy hermit. He spent nine years on the Inner Farne, a small island near Lindisfarne, becoming Bishop of Lindisfarne in 685 and died on the Inner Farne in 687, aged 53 years. His body remained incorrupted until around 1827, when a formal investigation of the coffin and its contents by Durham Cathedral officials took place. It was discovered that the mortal remains of St Cuthbert had become just another skeleton, in a winding sheet. His coffin and relics remain in Durham Cathedral.
The Lindisfarne Gospels, now in the British Museum, were made in the Scriptorium of the monastery under the direction of Eadfrith, Master Scribe and Bishop of Lindisfarne. in honour of the Chief Saint of Lindisfarne, St Cuthbert.
Notes taken from Magnus Magnusson’ s book, “Lindisfarne, The Cradle Island”.