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ECORC Prayer Shawl Ministries

Prayer shawls are created to remind people that they are held in God’s loving care and in our thoughts and prayers; they are given at times of celebration, life change or need for support. Prayer shawls come in many shapes and sizes: shawls, scarves, lap rugs, stoles, baby blankets. “Pocket prayer shawls” (a few inches square), are for people to keep nearby as reminders of God’s love and our friendship.
Sometimes a shawl is made for a specific person who is held in our thoughts and prayers as we create their shawl. At other times, shawls are made without knowing who will receive them and are kept until an occasion arises.


Shawls are given, with a blessing from the people of the church; they are never sold.

The East Central Ontario Regional Council (ECORC) gives prayer shawls to new ministers (to celebrate ordination, commissioning or admission), retiring ministers, newly covenanted staff, and special guests at regional events. They may be given throughout the year by ECORC staff providing pastoral care or support or to honour special guests.

This is a ministry that draws together the efforts and prayers of many across the region. Shawls are often donated and yarn can be provided. The Prayer Shawl Ministry is coordinated by a volunteer who seeks out people to make shawls, collects the shawls and arranges the blessing.

The volunteer will also gather ideas and provide information upon request about sources of ideas or contacts for people engaging in Prayer Shawl Ministry in their own Communities of Faith. For example, we have several different ‘blessings,’ a few simple patterns, and a bulletin insert that may be used or adapted by Prayer Shawl Ministries for Communities of Faith.


A simple prayer shawl pattern is:

  • On 9mm needles, cast on 57 stitches.

  • Each row, knit 3, purl 3 across the row ending on knit 3.

  • Repeat the pattern till the shawl measures 60 inches.

  • Cast off. Add a fringe.

  • Option: reverse the pattern every 4 rows to create a checkerboard.

A great site to visit is www.shawlministry.com for patterns, prayers, and background information on this ministry.

To obtain or offer ideas for Prayer Shawl Ministry, or to join in to provide prayer shawls or donate yarn for use within the ECORC, please contact Cheryl Mound by email at cdmound@gmail.com or by phone at 613-395-0914.