Streamlined vestments

Published April 1, 2008

A priest from the diocese of Rupert’s Land who uses a wheelchair is now finding it easier to move around in robes custom-made for him by a concerned parishioner.

Gail Forrest, a member of the altar guild of St. Mary Magdalene parish, created special vestments for her parish rector, Rev. Preston Parsons, after seeing how his chasubles often got caught under the wheels of his chair. The stoles and chasubles that Mr. Parsons had inherited as a new priest were “much too bulky and awkward.”

Ms. Forrest, who learned how to sew in her youth, designed a special pattern she called an angel-wing cape and made four different sets of chasubles for Mr. Parsons, including a purple one for Lent.

Mr. Parsons was delighted with his parishioner’s act of kindness. “They (old robes) got caught in my wheels, dragged on the floor, and slipped all over the place,” he said. That is no longer a concern with his new chasubles that have non-slip linings.


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