Over The Rainbow Exhibition

A new exhibition has been launched at the Rectory which shows how the members of the Methodist women's group Network banded together nationally to demonstrate their support of the Black Sash movement in South Africa which was working to have apartheid abolished.

The new exhibition "Over the Rainbow" is at the Rectory until 31st October 2018 and is the second exhibition telling the story of women's campaigning within the Methodist Church. "Over the Rainbow" was a national campaign organised by Network which culminated in June 1990, with a rally and vigil at Central Hall, Westminster. It was so large that there was a second meeting point at Kennington Park, London; banners and women from all across the UK converged on London for this especial day. For this day, the women, in their districts or induvial churches, made their banners, or ribbons as they were called, for the London protest. We have photographs and reports of the event which show how massive the turnout was for these women to stand in solidarity with their peers in South Africa. After, many of the banners were put up in their home churches, other were sent to the Black Sash movement in SA to replace their 'ribbons' which has been defiled or destroyed by the police but 28 years later of the hundreds made very few still survive. At the Old Rectory we are privileged to home 20 of the 'ribbons' still in existence.

The exhibition was curated by Amy Wilkinson & was officially opened to the public by Bishop Ivan Abrahams (General Secretary of the World Methodist Council), who in his opening speech told us about why this exhibition was close to his heart as his mother was a founding member of the Black Sash movement, of Methodism of his earliest memories being the Charles Wesley hymns he heard in childhood, of his friendship with Nelson Mandela and of how he gave the sermon at Madiba's funeral.

To celebrate Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday there is to be a screening of Harriet Gavshon's 1986 film "The Ribbon" followed by a short service of celebration on Wednesday 18th July at 2.30 at Wesley Memorial Church, Epworth. Afterwards, please join us for a Strawberry shortcake tea. For more information please contact Gillian Crawley, 01427 872268.

The Old Rectory would like to thank all the women who stood in solidarity, who kept the banners which were eventually donated to the Old Rectory. If you have a banner or a memory of that day Gillian would be delighted to hear from you.

Epworth Old Rectory, 1 Rectory Street, Epworth, North Lincolnshire DN9 1HX
Telephone: 01427 872268 - Registered Charity Number: 1140335