Garden of Hope
A specially composed shared service to celebrate the Opening and Blessing of the Garden of Hope was held on Sunday, 5th September 2004. Embracing the four seasons of the year, it included a whole variety of readings and prayers. Arising out of the inspiring vision of Jo Elsmore, wife of our former Vicar, the creation and construction of the garden has involved Anglican and Catholic members of our shared church. It has certainly helped to draw our two communities even closer together.

Community Space
The congregation created the Garden of Hope for a grassy patch of land at the back of Church, which was only occasionally used by the Boys Brigade. The congregation wanted to contribute to the life of the Hough Green Community by creating a place of natural beauty and tranquillity that would benefit everyone in many different ways. A peaceful spot for the elderly, an interesting natural setting for school children, an outdoor space for the uniformed organisations, a lovely setting for wedding, baptism or first communion celebration photographs, a pleasant place for church services to overflow into and a dignified and respectful resting place for the ashes of loved ones.

The Design
Raising in excess of £30'000 from environemntal and community trust funds secured the knowledge and talent of Rebecca Cotton, our landscape architect. The design is based on curves and circles and the contemporary use of materials in a sculptural way. She describes the garden as a journey through space and time -passing through the gateways, arches and stone markers, pausing by th e bubble fountain and following the path and symbols of flowing water to a quiet communal flower shrine before returning to the point of origin.  The planting plan helps to create an intimate, informal environemnt with colour, texture and scent for all seasons.  Many of the plant attract a variety of wildlife to our garden.  The trees and shrubs including weeping pears and white blossomed Amelanchier canadiensis, bring added interest and structure to the space.  The arbour and pergola are drapped in roses, honeysuckle and clematis adding a sense of privacy to the garden.

Burial of Ashes
In keeping with the garden’s special character, a sacred space celebrating the whole of life, areas for the burial of ashes were also incorporated into the overall design. There are no individual markings instead the names of loved ones are recorded on the stone tablest set into the dry stone wall.  The garden includes benches where the bereaved may sit and reflect on past memories and future hopes with the added consolation of being in close proximity to the church.  Please contact Keith Austin should wish to discuss the burial of ashes. 


Maintainence Days

Both congregations meet regularly under the watchful eye of Billy to maintain our garden. All help is gratefully received and we can always find everyone a job: weeding, trimming, staining the woodwork, mowing the lawn, maintaining the water feature and most importantly making the tea! 

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