Over many years, the garden behind the church had become overgrown. At a parish council meeting in spring 2019 it was suggested that the grass should be gravelled over to create more parking.
This was the catalyst for creating the ‘Quiet Garden for Ramsey Project’, which, from the beginning, has aimed to involve the local community in creating a wildlife- friendly garden where local people or all faiths or none, can find welcome, stillness, spiritual refreshment and a sense of mental wellbeing.
Work started in the summer of 2019. The first achievement was moving a strip of turf to increase parking space. Then a small group of volunteers cleared the overgrown borders. By the time of the first Covid lockdown in March 2020, we had a plan.
In keeping with the aim of reaching out to the community, it was decided to set up a Community Association to manage the project. Permission was sought from the Diocese to use the garden for this purpose. Grant applications were sent off, but none were successful. This turned out to be a blessing as we have had to be creative and resourceful.
One of the great joys of this project is the support and encouragement received from dozens of local people, most of whom have no connection to the church. The willingness of so many people to give their time and share their skills has been wonderful.
As Pope Francis wrote: “I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically…. He shows us just how inseparable is the bond between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.” (Laudato Si, 10)
Now that the garden is beginning to bloom, we have started running monthly Quiet Mornings on the theme of ‘Exploring Silence and Nature’. There are plans for more events next year. Follow us on our Facebook page, to see how the garden progresses.
Pictured above is the Quiet Garden at Ramsey