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Healing garden help St Luke’s celebrate 140 years

A rewilding garden at St Luke's church in Reading is a tangible sign of the parish’s commitment to healing and wholeness.

In the run up to the church’s 140th anniversary, the parish have been celebrating a Year of Wholeness and Healing. Part of those celebrations is the development of a new public garden on the corner of the church site - an oasis of tranquility.

“As we came out of COVID lockdown, we got thinking about how we could heal ourselves and our community,” says Jane Kenyon, the garden’s creator. Linked with the climate crisis and the lack of biodiversity, the idea of rewilding a corner of the church took shape. “We wanted to attract pollinators, butterflies and bees, with a seating area for anyone to come and enjoy nature’s beauty,” she says.

Jane is an experienced and enthusiastic gardener and together with the church’s Associate Priest, The Revd Christine Blackman, the garden idea was born.

The Diocesan Development Fund aided the project, which bought the bench which now sits in the garden and bares the inscription ‘And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations’ (Revelation 22:2). The garden’s bench is sited by the church’s foundation stone laid in 1882.

The garden is rainbow themed. The planting follows the colour flow from red to violet, before an arch takes you into an area planted in white.

The theme of Wholeness and Healing was inspired by the church’s patron, Luke, the patron saint of doctors, healers and the arts. The garden also acts as a memorial for those who suffered and died during the pandemic.

“It’s an ongoing project,” says Jane. “It’s not like a Chelsea show garden, there’s still a lot of work that needs to go into it and we need more plants, but it’s getting there, which is lovely.”

Page last updated: Saturday 5th August 2023 5:48 PM
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