Our Spiritual Garden
In 2016, our school celebrated it's 150th anniversary. We wanted this to be special and we wanted to create a lasting legacy for our children and their families.
To this end we decided to totally renovate our outdoor garden spaces and create a Spiritual Garden that could be used daily by our children and create a space for reflection, thought and deepening of their spirituality. We consulted widely and sought the help of people within the Canterbury Diocese; especially the time and support of Ronni Lamont (Faith and Nurture Adviser). Before the official opening of the Spiritual Garden, The Most Rev'd Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) blessed our cross and the garden space, something we feel very honoured to have had happen!
Some pictures below of why we think our Spiritual Garden is such a special place.
See below for a selection of photos from this memorable occasion!
Brief overview of what the works entailed!
It was a much bigger undertaking than we originally anticipated. School staff have agreed upon a design for this area of reflection for the children, staff, and local communities. This includes a hexagonal “prayer labyrinth” around the mature horse chestnut tree, with a specially built hexagonal seat in the centre. This is situated in the quietest corner of our wildlife area, a perfect place to view the wildlife already present, chat, read, reflect, pray - in sight of the Church. We worked with the local Church community who offered help with the project and the future upkeep of the garden area. We hope that the Church are able to make use of the area too. We took advice from an “expert” in laying labyrinths. we also had a 6ft wooden cross made by a local chain saw artist, incorporating newts, birds, ladybirds, bees, flowers and leaves. This was blessed by The Most Rev'd Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury)
We installed raised planting beds for sensory plants, incorporating seating. We are also really pleased to have a wooden boat as a focal point for a small “beach” area, with driftwood, shells, etc. as another area of interest. We installed Rev McLachlan’s “storytelling” chair behind the willow dome and some wooden benches for the children, thus creating a space for classes to go outside and read, listen to stories.
We were so privileged to have the enthusiastic help and support of our families and the local community during our “Ground Force” Day - these have been an on-going feature ever since!