Watts & Co. is delighted to be working with VTS as they celebrate their 200th anniversary. With some extra special commissions, we are proud to be a part of this incredible occasion, creating pieces that will honour this achievement forever.

MARKING THE HISTORIC BICENTENNIAL

VTS’s Bicentennial Campaign stands to honour the legacy of the seminary with a series of community projects and innovative development strategies, ‘for the Church now and for the future Church’.

VTS is using the anniversary not just as a time to reflect on the past, but to guarantee a strong future for the theological education of generations to come, ensuring that their passion continues into the next century and beyond.

Anniversary Stoles

As VTS looks towards its future, these stoles will mark the progress the seminary has made over the last 200 years and will celebrate this historic achievement with an exclusive design. Each stole uses a custom pattern, honouring the history of VTS in the weave of the silk itself. 

The ‘Hilliard’ pattern is an original design from one of our founder’s: G. F. Bodley. Inspired by a medieval tapestry, and influenced by contemporary designer William Morris, the fabric is imbued with both history and modernity. 

It is therefore perfect as a symbol of both VTS’s history and its future. Indeed, the utter joie de vivre celebrated in the flora and fauna of the pattern is a fitting companion to the celebration at the heart of this anniversary.

Each stole uses the exclusive VTS fabric in Cream, and a special label honouring the Bicentennial.

You have the choice of two orphrey fabrics, as well as an optional braid or appliqué cross.

Processional Banner

The custom fabric featured in each stole will also be seen in the stunning processional banner designed for the 200th anniversary. 

The central design adapts VTS’s impressive stained glass windows, designed by Brian Clarke. The three iconic designs will be hand embroidered as a single symbol of faith. Each window design flows into the next: the dove, representing the Holy Spirit, seamlessly reaches into the oak leaves, which transition into the abstract section of the red cross of Christ. 

On the back of the banner, birds weave through climbing flowers, reaching towards the graduating classes of future years. In a way, this floral design reflects a core message of the Bicentennial Campaign: ‘One sows and another reaps’. Each flower represents a future that is being sown by VTS as it enters its third century – a future that becomes daily more firmly established with each student of the seminary.

  • Front of the Banner

  • Back of the Banner

As Watts & Co. approaches its 150th anniversary, we too are taking time to reflect on our rich history and to look towards the exciting possibilities of the future. 

Established by three of the 19th-century’s finest architects, Watts & Co. has always been immersed in every detail of ecclesiastical design. Many of our vestments are still made by hand in London, using the finest materials and highest quality of workmanship.

Having provided for numerous coronations, for Westminster Abbey, and for many churches of various denominations, we have consistently been at the heart of Britain’s ecclesiastical landscape. We now serve churches worldwide, producing unique vestments and church furnishings of the highest quality, honouring centuries of tradition as well as innovating design for the future.

Today, we proudly carry forward the heritage of our founders. Bodley, inspired by centuries of artistic development, used the patterns and motifs of the old masters to create his own innovative ecclesiastical patterns. These are now used in our finest silk damasks, which continue to be woven in England. 

As we look forward to a future of continued excellence, we are also thrilled to support VTS’s Bicentennial celebration, which marks the beginning of another century of invaluable support to theologians.