The Ardabil Carpet, completed in 1539-40, first came to London in 1892. William Morris the artist and designer described it as “a remarkable work of art… the design is of singular perfection… the size and splendour as a piece of workmanship do full justice to the beauty and intellectual qualities of the design.” It is now permanently displayed at the V and A Museum, London.
The carpet is over 34 x 17 ft and with 340 knots to the square inch, I calculate there are nearly 30 million knots – each one a beautiful red, blue, yellow, green, etc. They all contribute something towards, as Morris describes it, the ‘singular beauty’.
This for me well illustrates each of our place in God’s New Creation. Our instinct isn’t it, is to think individually; ‘one in a million’ means we need to stand out in some way(s). With God, it’s the opposite. None of us will be anything unless we are part of the (much, much) bigger whole – of which by grace we are part. There is no ‘murmuration’ unless there are thousands of starlings flying and swooping in spectacular formation. Every bottle of vintage Dom Perignon has many grapes, each ripened in the champagne sun before being picked.
Edward Byrne, St Mary’s Organ Scholar, has been successful in appointment to a prestigious post at Worcester Cathedral.
Edward fought off competition to be appointed as Organ Scholar at the cathedral, commencing in September 2021 after completing his studies at Loughborough Grammar School. His duties will include playing for cathedral services, accompanying the choir, assisting with the training of choristers and managing the music library. He will gain tutelage and guidance from the music staff of the cathedral, including Director of Music Samuel Hudson and Assistant Director of Music Nicholas Freestone.
Edward has been Organ Scholar at St Mary’s since 2019 and will continue in his role until he leaves for Worcester. Edward has made a huge contribution to the musical offering of the church as well as benefiting from tutelage by John Keys and accompanying the church’s fine choir.
Edward says of his achievement, “I am incredibly excited to start working at Worcester Cathedral next year. It will be an amazing opportunity to contribute to the musical life of the Cathedral and also the opportunity to take part in the Three Choirs Festival. I am certain that this would not be possible without my scholarship here at St Mary’s. I am indebted to John Keys for all of the support and opportunities he has given me over the last two years. I will really miss St Mary’s but I look forward to coming back and playing when I’m in the area!”
Instead of these being left at St Mary’s for collection by members of the congregation, as this is not possible in 2020, please consider donating the money instead to Emmanuel House. We have the DONKEY and DOVE Christmas cards left over from last year – if you’d like some, let us know, no charge, but please make a donation to Emmanuel House.