Sunday, November 03, 2013

Eseta's beautiful stole designs

from w
I had noticed these lovely stoles in photos taken at the time of the Methodist Conference. Now the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania magazine 'Crosslight' has highlighted this beautiful gift to Fiji. The upbeat story is rather different from the stories of the pathetic manner of dealing with church people byp the head office in Melbourne planning to sell of about 56 church properties in Victoria to repay a huge debt owed to Uniting Financial Services in Sydney because of mismanagement of a school building project.

Stoles for Fiji

Methodists gather in Fiji
Methodists gather in Fiji
One of the most striking images of the new look of the Methodist Church in Fiji are the elaborate stoles unveiled as part of the church’s first national gathering for seven years in August.
Designed and made by Uniting Church ministers Rev Chris and Rev Eseta Meneilly, the stoles were unveiled at the national conference’s induction service and will be worn by the President Dr Tuikilakila Waqairatu, Vice President Ratu Eroni Volavola, General Secretary Rev Tevita Banivanua and Assistant General Secretary Rev Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa.
Each stole is unique in design and the project took about four months to complete. The Meneillys have been designing stoles for several years including having some displayed in the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. They also have a long association with Fiji which is Eseta’s homeland and where Chris studied and was ordained as a minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
Both are currently in full-time ministry in Bendigo, about 150 km north of Melbourne.
During a visit to Australia earlier this year, Dr Waqairatu and Mr Banivanua were made aware of Eseta’s work and commissioned her to make the stoles for the office bearers.
The stoles incorporate a new logo as well as Christian and Fijian symbols in an artistic design and include a Fijian traditional tapa design which identifies with water, mountain, the sea, the ‘vanua’.
Coconut fibre sinnet (magimagi) encircles and binds everything together and also forms a Trinitarian representation. The red or blue yoke is a sign of office and the call to ‘carry the load’ of leadership. Symbols of Christian identity are balanced throughout the design with dove, cross, and Bible.
For Eseta, making liturgical stoles depicting Fijian and Christian symbols is the story of her faith journey.
It has been a journey formed primarily in the Methodist Church in Fiji then encouraged into ordained ministry in the Uniting Church.
The highlight of this work for Eseta is the recognition that the stoles are unique and now worn with appreciation by the leaders of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
Reconciliation was a key part of the Fijian conference as the Methodist Church seeks to forge a new direction in the country.


the chorus said...

158 lopious Beautiful Sounds for beautiful stoles!

Andrew Thornley said...

Dear Wendy and Peceli,

That's a big number of properties to be sold off. I thought the number was about 12.

Best wishes,


Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Have you been following some of the stuff I put on geelong visual diary, and facebook, because I am hopping mad about the injustice of it all. I sent a letter to the Age this morning, but it mightn't get printed because it's rather rude. Our Uniting Church tennis courts will be auctioned off at posh Leonda on Yarra in Melbourne on December 11th, not on site. Head office has 200 staff -surely some could go onto .8 or take a rest! Instead they picked on 56 properties in suburban and rural areas to raise the money for the debt.

Andrew Thornley said...

Dear Wendy,

I stand corrected, thanks. I had not realized it was so many properties. A great shame as they will never be regained for the church.

Some very poor management decisions were made regarding the school and the whole church has been affected.

Best wishes,