Rainbows of pom poms are adorning the churches of Upper Pont, Northumberland thanks to a community project.
Around 1700 pom poms – each one representing a member of the benefice - have been created by parishioners of the church and the wider community.
Known as the Everyone Project, each pom pom has a unique design to reflect the individuality of those within the benefice.
White, black and grey pom poms represent those who have died during this last year and are a symbol of remembrance.
The project was inspired by an art installation at St Mary’s Church, Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire in 2014 by artist Mary Jane Montgomerie House.
Although the pom poms were completed during Lent, their installation was delayed due to Covid and the closure of churches in March.
The pom poms were made into garlands by Sue Parker and have now been put on display in St Mary’s Church, Stamfordham and Holy Trinity Church, Matfen, with the help of Sue’s husband Stuart and churchwarden Struan Wilson.
Sue said: “The garlands will be used to decorate the churches for festivals throughout the year including Easter, Harvest and Christmas to show that we are the Easter people, that we are loved and blessed by God and that He is with us all.”
Some of the pom poms have been made into a ‘floral’ installation on exhibit at All Saints Church in Ryal, Northumberland, including a rainbow arrangement which represents hope at this challenging time.
Revd Rachel Scheffer, Priest in Charge of Upper Pont Churches, said: “The Everyone Project has brought the community together in a unique way. Little did we know, when dozens of people round the villages started making pom poms to represent each other that we would be separated in a way like never before.
“It is one of the many ways that the Upper Pont Churches has tried to keep community spirit alive during lockdown and it has been fitting that although we can’t be together in the same ways as before there is still a huge bond between us.
“The art installations are a wonderful piece of evidence of that amazing and precious bond that the people of Upper Pont area share."
The installations at St Mary’s Church and Holy Trinity Church can be seen on Thursdays from 10am to 12noon and Sundays from 11.30am to 5pm when the churches are open for prayer.