When we received a call from St. Paul’s Cathedral, asking us for information on banners, specifically one that would be 7’high x 59’wide, we hesitated for a very brief moment.
Not because we can’t produce a banner that size, or had any qualms about the banner itself at all. We worried more that the city of Burlington would nix the idea because the size wouldn’t conform to Burlington’s zoning laws. We thought this because we had not, in eighteen years, made a banner nearly as large as this one.
We needn’t have worried. Church volunteers sought a permit, received it, and The Big Banner project was born.
“The Big Banner began as a PRIDE project of IntegrityVT—the ministry of the Episcopal Church to/for LGBTQ persons—who financed its cost through a grant from Integrity National and two generous VT donors,” Judith McManis said, a member of the church. “The colorful 'vortex' design is evocative of a rainbow but with the colors re-arranged, its strands symbolizing the energy poured into the widely varying ministries of this urban Church.
Judith explained that church buildings are often part of the visual 'outreach' of faith communities, but buildings don't often communicate a message of outreach, but simply say "this is an establishment." Banners are used to enlarge the message.
“An unusual church building such as that of St. Paul's Cathedral can use its somewhat stark exterior in revolutionary ways to speak to the greater community,” Judith said.
And so the banner now hangs on the church—all 7 foot high by 59 foot-wide’s worth—as a welcome sign to the community.