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Easter rainbow flag flies from Yarmouth Minster

Great Yarmouth team vicar the Revd Jemma Sander-Heys handmade a special flag for Easter with a rainbow design that also pays tribute to front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jemma made the flag using items of clothing from her family members, and the flag was hoisted onto the flag pole on top of the Great Yarmouth Minster by flag captain Michael Pearson on Easter Sunday at 12 noon whilst ‘Thine be the Glory’ was played on the trumpet.
Jemma explains: “It was literally a labour of love. I thought, how can we celebrate the hope of Easter in a way which can actually offer hope and encouragement to the whole parish when everyone really needs it? And then I thought – well people are already using a Biblical symbol of hope and promise everywhere to show their thanks to all those brave keyworkers and NHS staff looking after us, so I thought that was perfect as it would be both a visible sign of faith and hope and of thanks too.
“When it comes to showing a sign far and wide, we are well equipped with a tall church tower on Great Yarmouth Minster that shows for miles across the marshes and sea. That is exactly what tall church buildings are for it seems to me: a unifying sign of hope.”
Jemma managed to find an eight ft by five ft cotton cambric tablecloth, and then searched for enough bright, colourfast, lightweight fabrics to applique the rainbow. She solved the problem using assorted items of unused clothing, including her daughter’s blue primary school jumper, her 1960s vintage mini-dress, a red maxi-dress and two-tone green anorak.
Jemma continues “My daughter and I drew the rainbow outline on the first side using a pen and a piece of string to make the arc, and by the time I came to sew the second side, the stitching showed as the template. The flag took about 36 hours work over the course of a week including unpicking clothes to make the rainbow patchwork and finishing the thickest seams by hand with a sailmakers’ needle.
“Since it was raised it seems that people have indeed been cheered and encouraged by the shared sign of hope flying over the whole parish.”

This article first appeared on Norwich Diocese website, and has also appeared on Network Yarmouth.
The photo is courtesy of Rev Jemma Sander-Heys.


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