Back in 1964 12-year-old Josie Sinclair was the youngest Suffolk needlewoman to make a kneeler for St Edmundsbury's cathedral.

Now the replacement of the pews with new chairs means not so many kneelers are required - and Josie has taken her work back to her home parish church in Haughley.

Almost 1,000 kneelers were created in the 1960s to celebrate the Cathedral’s extension. Each parish in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich made two kneelers - and others were made by organisations with an important role in Suffolk life.

Across the county, those with a talent for embroidery were recruited by their church to make a kneeler.

The aim was to have kneelers which looked like a ‘set’ with uniformity of colour. The name of the parish was added to the bottom of the kneeler.

When Josie was asked to create a kneeler for her parish church in Haughley, she was 12 years old and known to have a talent for sewing.

She said, “I’ve been singing in the Haughley church choir since I was about six or seven, and I’m still singing there now.

"Someone at church must have asked me to make our church kneeler as I had made tapestries before, but I don’t remember too much about the project as I was so young.”

Josie, who at the time was a pupil at Bacton Modern School, later went on to attend the London College of Fashion. She became a dressmaker and has worked in the industry ever since.

In March 2024, the Victorian pews in the Nave, on and under which the kneelers had been used for over five decades, were replaced with chairs.

A new arrangement was needed for the kneelers; 500 would remain in the Cathedral, where they have been alphabetised and made more easily accessible for visitors to view.

The additional kneeler for each parish was then offered back to the church, or in cases like Josie, to the person who sewed it or a relative.

The remaining Cathedral kneelers are located in the North Transept gallery, Chapels of St Edmund and Transfiguration and the Chancel as a visible sign of the connection between the parishes of the Diocese and the Cathedral.