Opening of Spiritual Garden
New Spiritual Garden Opened at Beresford Memorial First School
Bishop Geoff cut the ribbon on the new Spiritual Garden at Beresford Memorial First School recently.
Following the morning act of worship, lead by headteacher Caroline Quinn, Bishop Geoff officially opened the Spiritual Garden. He was then shown around by Year 4 pupils. It was a walk of discovery for all as this was the first time that pupils had had the opportunity to see their ideas in the context of the completed project.
Headteacher Caroline Quinn said “The children came up with the designs together and this is the result. I think it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s above and beyond what we thought it would look like!”
The garden has many distinct and well thought out pieces, including prayer benches and mushroom seats so that pupils can take a step back from the hustle and bustle busyness of the school day. There are also picnic tables and a large circular bench area that can be used by whole classes.
One of the inspirations for the garden was Gill Blakeman, who worked as the Office Manager for 13 years before retiring in 2013 due to ill health. Gill passed away in May 2015 and the school wanted to remember her in a special way. The garden is therefore dedicated in Gill’s memory. A special feature in the garden is the circular bedding area where children can put plaques that remember those loved ones that have passed away.
A number of Gill’s family were present for the opening. Her widower, Paul Blakeman, said, “We are quite blown away by this memorial. It’s so lovely and Gill would have loved it.”
Taking time to reflect, sitting on a mushroom, Bishop Geoff said, “It’s really exciting and I think it’s good that we recognise children have spirituality. It’s a beautiful garden and great to have at the heart of the school. It’s a special place for the children to come and also be proud that they have had involvement in creating it.”
Bishop Geoff finished off his visit by touring the school, followed by an in depth question and answer session with pupils. “Do you have a special place where you go to talk to God?” asked one pupil. Bishop Geoff replied, “No, but if I did, it would be something like your Spiritual Garden.”