We are grateful to two of the faithful for generously providing for the altar steps at St Mary's Shrine to be carpeted with rich, red wool. In fact the two gave much more than was needed so more improvements will follow. The carpet was fitted yesterday afternoon, just in time for the Vigil and Octave of Pentecost, fitting as the liturgical colour of these feasts is red for the Holy Ghost.
Besides being visually striking, there are other benefits too. Although we do not want much carpet in the church, as it impoverishes the acoustics, it has the advantage on the predella of dampening the celebrant's footsteps, which were otherwise rather distracting. And doubtless the carpet will be appreciated by altar servers for the longer periods of kneeling!
So our sincere thanks. Meanwhile, some have mentioned possibilities for improving the entire floor of the church--your suggestions are welcome!