Amnesty Quilt

In January 2011 York Amnesty International group had the idea to mark the 50th anniversary year of the organisation by making a community quilt (see below for more information about the evolution of the quilt).

It is available for display - please contact us on if you are interested in this

We invited local groups and societies to design and make a square based around the Chinese proverb used by Amnesty founder Peter Benenson:

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness

We were delighted by the response! Thirty local groups worked on squares between February and September 2011 producing a mosaic of inventive, colourful and inspiring designs. These were then made into a quilt by York Amnesty with help gratefully received from some of the contributing groups. The final stitch was placed just in time for the quilt’s unveiling at York Minster in December 2011.

Many of those who took part told us how much they had enjoyed the project, how it had brought people together or provided a means of remembering others.

With its myriad of colourful designs and standing at over nine feet tall, we think this beautiful collaborative creation is a fitting celebration of the work of Amnesty International, and we look forward to displaying it many times.

With many thanks to all those who helped us with this project:

Navigation & Walmgate Community Association


Clifton Parish Church

York Embroiders’ Guild
Centre for Women's Studies at the University of York
Baha'i community of York
Skelton WI
The Retreat
Maureen Pickman

Wakefield Soroptomists

Copmanthorpe WI

British Heart foundation

Refugee action York

International service
York Justice & Peace Group
York Scribes calligraphy group
Friargate Quakers

Chapter House Choir

York Youth Council

St Luke’s Parish Church

Harrogate & Knaresborough AI group

Four Quarters

Henshaws Society for the Blind Art & Crafts Centre (Knaresborough)

Bootham school AI group

Beverley Quakers

Cambleforth youth group and Sherburn Drop in club

York Circle Dance group
Kirkbymoorside AI
Pen to Paper creative writing group

Update: In Summer 2016 we presented the quilt
to the Peace Museum in Bradford in West
Yorkshire on a five year loan.