COORDINATORS: Anne Ella-Arnold at or 905-751-1315 and Elizabeth Ramsell at 905-503-0645 


The prayer shawls, which are presented for blessing, are available to anyone who is in need of comfort and encouragement.  This ministry is all encompassing.  Shawls may be requested by anyone for anyone within and beyond the A.U.C. congregation. 


On most Sunday mornings, shawls may be selected outside Binion’s Great Hall.  Contact the ministry coordinators for assistance.  

For assistance during the week, contact the ministry coordinators or the ministerial staff. 


Anyone who needs a kit is encouraged to contact the ministry coordinators.


The following donations may be arranged with  ministry coordinators.  Please contact one of them.

·      Equipment:  from 6 mm to 8 mm knitting needles and 4 mm to 6 mm crochet hooks

·      Yarn:  gauges 2 to 5; quantities of 15 g. or greater; leftovers or new

·      Crafting Time:  needles, patterns, and ready-made kits are available 

·      Gift Bags and Tissue:  new or gently used

 ·      Funds:  to purchase materials; donations made payable to Aurora United Church and designated for the Prayer Shawl Ministry will be receipted.  Financial donations may be mailed directly to Aurora United Church, 15186 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 1L9.

2023 DATA

  • 98 shawls crafted
  • 86 shawls distributed
  • 2 chemo caps crafted and distributed
  • 28 infant caps crafted and distributed
  • 46 shawls on hand on December 31, 2023

CRAFTERS’ CIRCLE—2012 to present: 

The purpose of this group is to gather with others who are preparing prayer shawls for our ministry.  These meetings are a time of creating, supporting, sharing of crafting ideas and techniques, and fellowship.  Every month, meetings take place on the first Thursday afternoon.  All are welcome to attend—seasoned and beginner crafters alike.   At the end of 2022, Crafters’ Circle had eight members. 


Thursday, January 4, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, February 1, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, March 7, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, April 4, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, May 2, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, June 6, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel

Thursday, July 4, 2024; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Historic Chapel



In 1997, following a leadership programme at a seminary in Connecticut, U.S.A., Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo created the shawl-knitting ministry and the website “” in response to encouragement to continue the intent of the conference.  Today, prayer shawl ministries exist in many countries, presenting needy recipients with these symbols of comfort and compassion. 

Late in 2005, both Carol Rose-Kudelka and Evelyn Wilkinson became aware of the existence of this type of ministry, and convinced A.U.C.’s newly formed Health Cabinet to begin one here.  Carol, Carol Beaver, and Carol Tanner stepped up as leaders of the ministry with much needed technical expertise provided by Jean Anthes.  The ministry was launched in the spring of 2006, with support from the Health Cabinet and the Faith and the Arts Committee.  The blessing of the prayer shawls created that first spring and summer took place on the following September 24.  Presently, this programme is a part of the Serving Ministry.  In March of 2012, Anne Ella-Arnold and Carol Beaver became the ministry coordinators.  One of their first tasks was to launch Crafters’ Circle, in an effort to bring together the crafters of the shawls.  Ever since then, on every Sunday following the donation of a shawl, it is offered and blessed to prepare it for distribution to a worthy recipient. Currently Anne Ella-Arnold and Elizabeth Ramsell are the coordinators.

Since its inception in 2006, our prayer shawl ministry has enriched and knitted the entire A.U.C. community.  All members of the congregation are participants, contributing in a variety of ways.  Some of them donate funds, yarn, equipment, and other supplies.  Crafters give generously of their talents.  And many distribute shawls to needy recipients.  It is said that, “God’s hands are our hands.”  We may never know how the love, woven into each shawl, will touch or change another’s life.  But it has or it will.

This ministry has truly been a blessing to all of us.  And our work continues. 


·      Ever since we began to keep records in 2012, an annual average of about one hundred fifty-five shawls has been distributed and almost the same number have been crafted.

·      Since 2012, every A.U.C. confirmand has been presented with a shawl.

·      Crafters have made and donated over one hundred twenty-five chemo caps to the Oncology Department at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. As well fifty-eight infant caps have been donated to the nursery patients at the same hospital.

·      At least four other prayer shawl ministries have begun as a result of our example.

·      In November 2019, we participated in providing data about our ministry for a post-graduate student, Mary Elizabeth Piercy, studying at the University of Winnipeg.  Her master’s thesis is entitled, “Shaping Post-Christendom Spiritual Practice in the United Church of Canada, One Prayer Shawl at a Time”. 

·      In May of 2022, twelve shawls were donated to the congregation of Uxbridge United Church in the wake of the extensive damage done to their building as a result of a tornado.

·      The pandemic has not stopped our ministry from continuing.  Since mid-March of 2020, shawls have continued to be crafted and distributed at almost the same rate as before COVID-19.


 ·      Thanks to Mary Elizabeth Piercy who has completed her thesis and has offered it to us for our website.  It can be accessed by using the link this link:

·      The purple prayer shawl that drapes the cross on the communion table at A.U.C. was a gift from the Newton-Robinson United Church and was dedicated to the congregation on Easter Sunday in 2014 in response to the tragic fire, which took our building.  We so appreciate this constant reminder of the love and support that this community shared with us in our time of great loss. 

·      Also as a result of the same fire, sadly thirty-eight shawls were lost to smoke damage.  But five United Churches in Ontario (Dunbarton-Fairport U.C. in Pickering, Goodwood U.C., Mount Carmel Zion U.C. in Morriston, Richmond Hill U.C., Thornhill U.C.) came forward and donated fifty-one shawls to allow us to continue our ministry while we restocked our coffers.  As a result of this generosity, our ministry continued with barely a pause.  What a blessing for us. 

Refreshed on January 3, 2024.