Monkwearmouth Well maybe not quite a red carpet, but good news concerning the carpet that adorns the chancel in St. Andrew’s church. A carpet that has beckoned over a century of worshippers to the high altar in communion with one another at the Lord’s table. I am of course referring to the William Morris carpet, a masterpiece of the Arts and Craft movement, from a textile designer who saw carpet weaving as a fine art to produce a carpet with its rich gradations of colour and text. If only a carpet could reveal its footprints over time, from hobnail boots to the latest high heels of fashion and a few giggles from choirboys, as on bended knee someone forgot to remove the price tag from their latest acquisition. The young and the old of each generation, winter and summer having trod upon the carpet on that same faithful pathway to share in the heavenly feast. It’s remarkable how the carpet has stood up to the test of time but like human ageing it can become a bit frayed at the edges. Some unique woven patterns now threadbare at the edges, alas even a hole punctuating its woven beauty, just like our lives are woven into the fabric of God’s creation in need of healing and repair. A well known figure, a few years ago, stood upon that carpet looking round at the wonder and beauty of that which adorns the church, a cathedral to the Arts and Craft movement. He commented on his own William Morris carpet in his home. And now almost full circle that person has agreed to fund the repair of the carpet. As a church we are thankful to the work of the Church Building Trust and Anne Sloman and Pedro Gaspar in particular who have successfully found funding for the carpet repair. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has agreed to provide those funds. Our thanks to all concerned as we look forward to the rolling out of the red carpet when all the dust has settled on window repair, a carpet of exquisite fine art but more importantly its place in the chancel of praise to the wonder and beauty of our God, Jesus Christ, our Superstar. John Pattinson For more information on the Andrew Lloyd Webber Trust, visit http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/

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