If you pass by St James Church regularly you may have noticed new and rather beautiful things happening in the church garden.
The garden has always come to life in the springtime, thanks to the efforts of a small team of church members who so faithfully tend it from year to year. Over the last few months, however their work has been focused on realising a specific vision – to transform the area between the street and the church centre into a space for reflection which can be used and enjoyed by the whole community.
Caroline Streets is a member of St James who has been on the church’s horticultural team for many years. A professional gardener, Caroline was involved with the initiative from the start and takes up the story:
“Last Autumn, our curate, Peterson Feital, talked to me about the possibility of making the church garden into a Garden of Gethsemane, an Easter Garden. Peterson, who also oversees Dei Artistry, the creative ministry at St James, liked the idea of making the garden into a space which could be available all year through as a quiet, peaceful and prayerful space. The concept inspired me and so the Easter Garden project started.”
Together with Viv Roberts, another member of the St James horticultural team, Caroline worked on ideas for the garden,
“We decided to put a path up the middle of the garden, so that people could walk through the trees and also wanted to incorporate a number of resting points, where people could sit and reflect looking out over the garden into the street.”
The team has worked hard on developing the space and it has been exciting to see it take shape over a number of months. As work has progressed and the seasons passed, the design and vision have continued to evolve. Boulders will soon be added to the garden as more seating places and the spring flowers which have bloomed early this year will soon be replaced by new ones.
A focal point of the garden and visible from the street, is a wooden cross which was made from reclaimed oak by two church members.
Revd. Peterson Feital says: “The cross is a permanent reminder of the Christian faith and the hope it offers to everyone. We hope that people from Muswell Hill will come and sit in the garden, and find here a place of rest, peace and hope in the context of their daily lives. We would love to think that this is one of a number of ways we can connect with our local community. Please come and enjoy this beautiful space!”
The project is on-going and Caroline would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved via the Church office, email: [email protected] or call 020 8883 6277.
The team have also planted poppy seeds alongside the church as part of commemorations for World War One, so watch out for these later on this year.
For more information about St James please go to: www.st-james.org.uk or call 020 8883 6277. You can follow us on Twitter @StJamesMHill