Friday, 28 March 2014

Sensing Lent 21: Prayer Chair

Shabby chic is a style that greatly appeals, possibly due to never really having enough money to buy new furniture (apart from once, when we splashed out on a nearly four figure John Lewis sofa).

Down the years, collecting seating in various forms of demise, with various interesting pedigrees, has become a bit of an art form. 

So there's a 1950s nursing chair with a newish cover; an antique Victorian overstuffed chair; a 1980s John Lewis orange two seater sofa covered in crocheted blankets from second hand shops and a squashy feather-filled two seater sofa, bought on eBay after a nerve wracking bidding war, for the princely sum of £1.44.

And then there's the Prayer Chair. The story behind it: we moved into a large clergy house and found ourselves once again short on the seating front. During the first month I was due to see a wedding couple. Picturing them arriving and having to sit on the floor, a small armchair spotted in a skip, and a kind parishioner who rescued it and brought it round, eventually saved the day.

Who was the genius who re-branded second hand clothes as 'pre-loved? Our skip chair is definitely pre-loved. It needed a new cushion, but apart from that, looked right at home from day one. A bit frayed, dated florals (which I'm rather attached to now) dainty, squishy and perfectly proportioned. It was rescued with love and donated with kindness.

And it's the best chair for praying in. Come in, shut the door, turf the cat off, sink in, feet firmly on the floor, light a candle, be still, listen to the ticking clock. And breathe.

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