Garden project is changing lives - Archbishop
Archbishop Barry with the team from Vision 21
An imaginative church project to transform its overgrown grounds in a city suburb into a peaceful garden for the whole community is changing people’s lives, the Archbishop of Wales said today.
Dr Barry Morgan visited St Peter’s Community Garden in Fairwater, Cardiff, today (WED) to see how volunteers from more than 15 local organisations have come together to transform an acre of scrubland into a garden and nature reserve.
Teams of parishioners, young offenders, people with learning needs and children from the neighbouring school have dug out a jungle of briars and brambles and chopped down trees to create a haven of peace which includes a lawn, pond, vegetable patch and mini Welsh heritage orchard.
Now the whole project is to get a £20,000 boost to maintain the garden and transform the adjacent community hall thanks to a £10,000 donation from the Archbishop’s Mission and General Fund and a £10,000 grant from Llandaff Diocese’s Board of Social Responsibility.
The Archbishop saw new solid oak benches made for the garden by workers he met from Vision 21, the Cardiff-based charity providing training for people with learning needs. Vision 21 is also making and fitting raised beds and a trellis for the Quiet Garden.
Dr Morgan also chatted with children from Fairwater Primary School’s Eco Group who have been involved in the project.
The benches and beds have been funded by a £3,000 donation from the Diocese of Llandaff while the Quiet Garden received £1,000 from the Pontyclun’s Community Shop.
The garden was the vision of parishioner Ian Thompson who was appointed project manager by the vicar, Father Colin Sutton. Last year the Princess Royal visited the garden to plant trees for a hedgerow as part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project, marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It is hoped the garden will be open to the public three days a week from the Spring.
Archbishop Barry said, “The Church is in the business of caring and exists to serve the community. This project is a fantastic example of that. It has literally changed lives because it has given hope and a sense of purpose to people. The garden is a place where church members, ex-offenders, children and people with learning needs meet together as equals. It shows that the church is interested in the whole person, not just their spiritual life, and is doing something practical to help them.”
Father Colin said, “The development of the garden has gone smoothly over the past year. We are building up our bank of volunteers and training them but we could do with more. We’re looking forward to being able to keep the garden open for three days a week in the Spring. We’re also excited about a new partnership we’ve formed with the Probation Service. Probationers will do placements with us and start work on transforming the community hall, which is the next phase of the project.”
The photos attached show:
Archbishop Barry with members of Eco Group of Fairwater Primary School and their headteacher Carolyn Mason (left) and teacher Chris Brown (right) sitting on the new benches.
Archbishop Barry with the team from Vision 21 on the new benches.
For more information, please contact:
Entered By Anna Morrell - 29.11.12Anna Morrell, Archbishop’s Media Officer
Church in Wales
39 Cathedral Rd
Cardiff CF11 9XF
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