“One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth”
Extract from “Gods Garden” by Dorothy Gurney
The prayer garden at Sacred Heart Church in Teddington was created as a peaceful place; a quiet space to sit and remember loved ones, to think, reflect, pray or just be with God. It is accessed through the the community rooms, and from Wick Road to the left of the church.
Anne Hewitt is one of the team who helped create Sacred Heart Church’s prayer garden. She shares some thoughts about it below:
“I became acutely aware of the need to have somewhere to place a memorial to a loved one who had connections with the Parish either as a family member or Friend, following the death of my husband. It was important that it should be adjacent to the church, be peaceful and as attractive as possible.
Father Reg and I came to the conclusion that the only possibility would be the thoroughly unpromising area directly behind the church. The space could be accessed from Wick Road when the Church was locked.
On closer inspection it seemed a particularly daunting task. Weeds sprouted everywhere. The one tall tree was being slowly strangled by fiercely growing ivy, the fencing covered in slimy mould, and the base of the church wall appeared to be crumbling away and needed repointing. Where to start??
I was so grateful that a few brave souls joined me for the initial clearing, even shinning high up the tree and tackling the back-breaking task of digging up the wall of established ivy. We applied bucketfuls of weed and mould killer, started painting the fence and then – the rains came!…The most industrious of all was Seamus.
Without him we would still be struggling to finish the garden. Because of his dedication the whole area was cleared and finished by the time Bishop Alan Hopes visited in early November. The Bishop was able to bless the garden with some of the memorial plaques in place, as well as a lovely small wooden shrine, built by Tony Erland, in which there is now, appropriately, a statue of the Sacred Heart, donated once again by Seamus! We tried to make the area as attractive as possible with plants which tolerate variable winter conditions and spring bulbs to follow, if the squirrels and snails will allow!.
For her help and advice, we are very grateful to Catherine Ridler, who has already created such beautiful, award winning gardens at the front of the Church.
It would be good if these gardens could be supported by the whole parish community, so if you can help with a spot of upkeep now and again, with ideas for future plantings, please contact us or Father Reg.”