We have been blessed with a large green space, visible to all who pass the church. Here we are creating a place for peaceful reflection and for prayer. It is easily accessed at any time and is well used by members of the church and local community.
Initially, we had a blank canvas on which to work. The chief constraints were environmental: exposure to strong winds and salty air, and soil that is only a few inches deep. The vicarage is some distance away, so for most of the time, it is unsupervised. Over the years, it had been used as an unofficial football pitch and dog walking park, so we needed to explain to people what was happening to ‘their’ space.
Most of the gardens are designed with two aims in mind: to create a beautiful and sustainable garden that people can enjoy and where they can find peace; and to share a little of the Christian story in a way that speaks to both believers and those have no particular faith.
Some of the gardens are closely linked with the great festivals of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. Others focus on the human need for food, water, work, and for remembering those who have died in infancy and in conflict. In one, large garden, we have portrayed the family of St. Nicholas church. We hope to have a special garden for those in our youth groups next year. The newest garden marks the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. Its theme is Stop the Traffic and depicts the various ways in which children across the world are still traded, exploited and vulnerable.
We invite you to visit the garden, enjoy the quietness and add your prayers to the many which have already been said there.
Ourt latest project is a circular stone feature around the willow tree on the north side of church by Mersey Road. It has been named ‘The Field of Memories’, where engraved tablets naming loved ones from St. Nicholas’ are laid out around the tree.