A musical development scholarship worth up to £1,000 has been awarded to a Wellingborough music director in the Roman Catholic diocese of Northampton.
Helen Murphy, who plays the organ and leads the choir at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Wellingborough, has earned the scholarship from the The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
The RSCM is an international network with some 8,500 affiliates, members and supporters in more than 40 countries and is supported in the UK by several hundred volunteers and a small team of staff.
The parish composer creates her own music for the Wellingborough church's services and is also the honorary secretary of the Northampton & District Organists’ Association, supporting choral events across the Peterborough and Northampton dioceses.
The scholarship aims to foster musical and spiritual leadership skills and includes a week-long residence and tuition at a RSCM international summer school this month.
She will get the opportunity to take part in a range of workshops led by world-renowned church music experts and leading composers of modern worship music.
Helen hopes that the chance to develop her talents will help her relationship-building with the Church of England through musical collaborations.
She said: "I want to be able to explain things to and teach my small choir better than I do and with better knowledge and understanding.
"I always try to convey my love of music and increase my contact and liaison with other Christian churches.”
RSCM director Hugh Morris added: "It’s thanks to a generous gift from a donor that we are able to offer these music development scholarships.
"Helen epitomises the spirit and commitment given so freely by so many musicians in the service of the church and her presence will provide an important voice on behalf of others facing similar challenges in churches of all denominations.”
The summer school, which takes place once every three years, is being held in 2019 at Belsey Bridge Conference Centre in Norfolk.
For more details about the RSCM, visit the website at www.rscm.org.uk or search for 'RSCMCentre' on Facebook.