Quiet garden beginnings
View from the quiet garden at Inverie, St. Morans, Firth of Forth I
n 1992, Philip Roderick was sitting with his wife Jill in their back garden enjoying a few moments of peacefulness on a summer’s day. The idea of the Quiet Garden came to Philip then.
Nature had always been for him a context where he had found the divine. His richest experiences had been in places of natural beauty.
Jesus withdrew to places of natural beauty – to mountains and lakes – and invited his followers to come apart with him for rest and learning. As an educator and priest, Philip wanted to use what Jesus did as a model.
The first thing was to find someone prepared to lend a garden. Six weeks later, someone offered the use of their garden and
the wing of a house. “She had the wing. I had the prayer,” said Philip. The Quiet Garden Movement had begun.
Nature reproduces! The Quiet Garden has seeded itself not just in this country but throughout the world in rural, suburban and urban areas. Each is unique, responding to local needs. Most open at specific times for stillness and reflection, for spiritual refreshment, hospitality and support.
It’s a simple idea, and valued by many. Judy Rees
For more details, contact: The Quiet Garden Trust, Stoke Park Farm, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG 01753 643050 or contact quiet.ga
The quiet garden at Stretton on Dunsmore
Sitting in various Quiet Gardens over a number of years, I was very content to receive the hospitality and space on offer, with no thoughts of ever opening a Quiet Garden of my own. That was until I came across the house and garden that is now my home, with its quiet location in the shadow of the Village Church and the stone pulpit on the terrace.
Opening in 2002 in a small and manageable way, I offered Quiet mornings once a month from April to October, with two periods of input followed by silence then sharing. The season was reduced the following year, since too often I found people sitting in the
greenhouse and sheds sheltering from the cold! By the third year I was offering drop-in days once a month during the summer, our thoughts and reflections being led by a variety of local clergy, preachers and lay people.
The leisurely conversations over lunch on the drop-in days was an important development for the Quiet Garden. People wanted more silence and this type of thing in Church... and so the Gentle Whisper was born, a quiet reflective space on the first Sunday evening each month at a Methodist Church in Leamington.
Others wanted to come to the www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk
garden all year, so I introduced indoor quiet days, many of which are linked with a craft activity, including card making, Christmas decorations, rag rugging and candle making. In December there was peace and quiet to write our Christmas cards and letters, with a day in January to respond to our Christmas post.
People who are unable to join us on Quiet Garden Days, have been known to phone up to find out what we will be doing, so they can take part in their own homes and gardens.
Revd Rachel Burgess Warwickshire
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