Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman adds splash of colour to Solihull performance with new cloak - The Solihull Observer

Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman adds splash of colour to Solihull performance with new cloak

Solihull Editorial 17th Nov, 2023   0

SELF-STYLED grumpy old rock star Rick Wakeman had a splash of colour added to his performance at a Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) in Solihull.

After cutting the ribbon at the event in Cranmore Park, clerical textile designer Juliet Hemingray presented him with a bespoke richly coloured cloak created to highlight ‘Morning has Broken,’ a song by Cat Stevens on which he played piano.

The words to the song were an inspiration to what Rick – who regularly uses capes when performing – described as a “wonderful robe which will enhance some of my public concerts.”

Juliet said: “I have really enjoyed making it and hope that Rick will perform in it on tour.

“It brings together my love of the more traditional church brocade fabrics. From ‘Morning has broken’ I have used the imagery of a blackbird on the back of the cape with coloured shapes representing the word of God spreading out through the Holy Spirit.

“It is the first time I have ever made something like this for a rock star and hope it becomes a favourite in Rick’s collection.”




The designer has also been commissioned to produce thousands of stoles, frontal, banners, copes, mitres and chasubles and other religious regalia – including the enthronement robes for the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, and current Archbishop, Justin Welby.

After touring CRE for his first visit Rick said: “This is an excellent exhibition and could prove to be the inspiration for evolving every aspect of church life.”


Also taking to the stage were the Big Sing Choir – made up of singers from various choirs in the area.

Following the opening, with every one of the 170 stands at the exhibition – often called ‘the ideal church show’ – taken before the event there was plenty for visitors to see from pews to preaching puppets, clergy clothing to communion wine.

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