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Priests online gospel brings charitable donation from luxury tailors

In the gloomiest days of full government lockdown, the closure of churches left many dedicated mass goers without a house of God to attend for the first time ever.

 

In the absence of weekly masses, Our Lady of Reconciliation parish priest, Father Richard, started a weekly gospel shared via the Instagram page of a local laundrette, L3 Laundry Room, called ‘Pause for Thought’. The posts touched on a variety of topics that helped people keep faith during the trying times of the pandemic. The virtual gospels were such a success; it not only received an overwhelmingly positive response online from members of the parish but also started to attract entirely new audiences.

 

To show the appreciation of the community, Brian Jones, a member of the parish asked his Grandson, Rhys Jones, who owns Rhys Jones & Co, a bespoke tailoring company, to custom make a vestment for Father Richards commendable efforts.

 

Rhys says, “I never did it to get any press if I’m honest, it was more for my grandad.

 

It was a way to thank him [Father Richard] for doing it, and my grandad asked me if it was possible to make the vestment, so we looked into it and got a design”.

 

"It is a poignant gift and will always serve as a reminder of the time we all had to isolate to prevent the spread of this virus."

 

Although the high-end suit maker doesn’t usually turn his hand to religious garments, Rhys decided to give it go by modelling off a robe already owned by the church.

 

“I made the vestment in lockdown myself, it was a nice thing to do, and it’s good for the community.”

 

The design chosen is “Jesus holding a baby, and every flag of every country affected by the pandemic is actually on the image.” said Rhys.

 

Although early days into his career, Rhys’s success within the tailoring industry has been rapid since starting an apprenticeship under tailor Peter Harland to having now set up his own shop on Chapel Street in just a few years.

 

“A lot of what we do is for professionals – we do football players, heavyweight champions of the world or we do barristers, solicitors and lawyers.”

 

Rhys’s generous gesture has now brought him more custom in the way of religious gear after now receiving “four more orders” of different church attire.

 

 

Father Richard tells Scottie Press, “I received a new vestment on behalf of the parish community of St Sylvester as a token of appreciation for my little project during lockdown, ‘Pause for Thought.’

 

I say little project. I didn’t have a clue as to how this was to pan out when I first starting posting a reflection on 21st March as the country enter a ‘new norm’ called lockdown.

 

What happened over the next three months, each morning I would send a reflection out based on the scripture readings of the day’s Mass to, individuals and groups, of whom some would post them on Facebook, Instagram pages.

 

For many people it was a source of support as we dealt with aspects of isolation; for my part, I didn’t realise how much I was getting from them as people responded to them in their replies.

 

The reflections came to an end at the end of June, when our churches were allowed to re-open and aspects of Public Worships were permitted. Intriguingly, since I have stopped sending them out, my phone has gone a lot quieter!

 

The vestment that was presented to me was made by Rhys Jones, a bespoke tailor based in the city centre.

 

Rhys has used an image of Our Lord, with a stethoscope around His neck cradling a globe of the world represented by national flags that were severely affected by Covid 19.

 

It is a poignant gift and will always serve as a reminder of the time we all had to isolate to prevent the spread of this virus.

 

We also remember those who have died in this period and for their families who still grieve the loss of their dear loved ones.”

 

You can find out more about Rhys Jones & Co here: www.rhysjonesandco.com