Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Praying with Poppets: Rediscovering the Sacred Art of Doll-Making as Prayer

with Polly Paton-Brown, MA UKCP

Saturday, September 10, 2022

9am-12pm Pacific

12-3pm Eastern

5-8 pm Ireland/UK time

Program Description

Many of us have been brought up to think of prayer in terms of words, be that spoken or written. But there was a time when prayer was often made using our hands. The use of such prayer was considered evil by those in authority and was enough to get you accused of witchcraft. In this mini retreat we will explore the history of poppet making and their use in healing and prayer. Reclaiming this ancient art, we will celebrate the prayer of our hands by making a very simple prayer doll together, using sticks, scraps of yarn, and fabric.

Supplies needed:

  • A collection of six to eight sticks, so that you have different ones to choose from. About 6 inches long is ideal for the length of time we have together.
  • String or strong yarn for tying sticks together.
  • For covering the doll you can choose form different colored yarns, strips of fabric or ribbon, raffia. 
  • For the head you can use air drying clay, needle felt, some wool, or wrap with felt or a scrap of fabric. I will show each of these options.
  • Embroidery thread, needle, scissors, or sharpies if you want to write intentions or prayer on the doll.
  • Something to snip the sticks with.
  • Any embellishments you desire.
  • An intention or prayer that the doll will embody.


The retreat will be recorded and made available within 48-72 hours of the program. 

Your Guide for the Journey

Polly Bio

Polly Paton-Brown, MA UKCP

Polly Paton-Brown MA UKCP worked for many years as a psychotherapist and trainer in the field of trauma. More recently, Polly’s focus has been on helping people explore their spirituality and prayer,  using creativity and connection with nature. Polly has a particular passion for creating healing dolls as a portal to transformation.

Always a lover of nature, horses and creativity Polly now integrates all of these into her practice. She has trained in Nature Based Practice and Eco-pychology, Environmental Arts, Expressive Arts and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. She is a licenced facilitator of Chakradance,  The Art of Allowing , Creative Awakenings and the  Wild Soul Woman Programme.

A member of the Iona Community, Polly was coordinator of their healing ministry for 11 years and when in that role ran regular retreats on the Isle of Iona. She is also a Sister of Belle Coeur.  With roots in the contemplative and monastic traditions, Polly also draws wisdom from other spiritual paths such as Druidry and Sufism. She is passionate to help those wounded by the institutional church restore their image of God and themselves.

Visit Polly’s website here>>


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
Please be careful to enter your correct email address when you register. 
All prices displayed in USD.


REduced Fee


Regular fee


Sponsorship fee

If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.