Parishioners of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach can enjoy comfort while kneeling in prayer thanks to a group of churchwomen who commissioned a kneeler stitching project in the 1970s.
A short history of the church reveals Mrs. Margaret English Genisi suggested making needlepoint hassocks for the church. When the All Saints’ Church Needlepoint Guild got to work, the project took at least five years to complete approximately 150 cushions.
One of the ground rules was that the donor could choose the design; however, no two kneelers are the same, since the person creating each piece was able to select the color of yarn used.
Pricilla Smith, who moved to Rehoboth in 1983, said she created three of the kneelers and was told she could sign and date them, or not, and she chose not to. Having to fill in all the background with yarn was a hefty task, she said, and she remembers at least one was a fish design. She recalled going to a store called In Stitches, owned by Judy Parker who provided yarn and probably created some. Many are signed with initials and Roman numerals. There is no notation as to whom the initials indicate or what the numerals stand for.
Many of the needlepointers have passed on, but they leave their handiwork for worshipers and visitors to All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach to enjoy.