On Wednesday 25th May the Quiet Garden will be open to all visitors from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
There is no charge, just enjoy the tranquility of the space.
Come and enjoy the peaceful stillness of the Quaker garden. Sit and contemplate the flowers and trees. Walk slowly and meditatively using the spiral walkway. Read in a secluded corner. Friends will be around if you wish to talk, or have a cup of tea.
The Friends Meeting House dates from 1787 and is the local Quaker place of worship. The garden is a walled burial ground, with gravestones dating from 1820s, which now form a path around a central grassed area. In the middle is a small spiral meditation walkway. There are borders with mature trees, some areas with flowers others left as a natural habitat for wildlife. This secluded area is now part of the Quiet Garden Movement.
We will also be taking part in the Open Garden Day on 17th July (12-5 in the afternoon).
Leighton Buzzard Friends have joined the worldwide Quiet Garden Movement.
The Quiet Garden Movement is a global network of over 300 gardens in homes, churches, hospitals and schools. Quiet Gardens are made available by local hosts for people of all ages to experience silence, and spend time in prayer and contemplation.
We are delighted to be joining the worldwide Quiet Garden Movement. In joining we mark the importance of silence together in natural surroundings and will be exploring the health and spiritual benefits of taking regular times of quiet in nature.
The Quaker garden is behind the Meeting Nouse in North Street. It is both a burial ground and a large grassed open space surrounded by borders and mature trees. At the moment there is a spiral walk laid in the centre for a simple meditation exercise. The garden is open all year round and there will be special occasions from time to time. Please look out for details.
Anyone interested in learning more should contact the Clerk at LBClerk@virginmedia.com].
“The Quiet Garden Movement is about giving people permission to step back and experience a sense of stillness and wonderment,” said founder Reverend Philip Roderick. “We live in a world where we are swamped by methods of communication and yet we find ourselves unable to communicate. Silence is the missing and vital ingredient. Even as little as five minutes can be restorative and healing.”
The world’s largest study into the links between rest and wellbeing, published in 2016, showed that ‘being alone’ and ‘in the natural environment’ were rated in the top three most restful activities .
For the last few weeks we have enjoyed meeting in the open air in the garden. The weather has been kind. About half of the area has been left unmown, and is covered in bright little yellow flowers. This photograph was taken after our meeting today.
We held our first Meeting for Worship together today since March. There were six of us in the pleasant surroundings of the garden, bathed in sunlight and blessed with birdsong. The flowers in the courtyard are wonderful, thanks to Mary.
Having carried out a risk assessment and put in place posters about safety during COVID-19 and provided for hand-washing or sanitiser, and markings for social distancing etc., we are able to resume weekly Meetings for Worship, outdoor for preference, but indoors if the weather is not kind. We will be limited to eight people if we move indoors, so registration with the Clerk is necessary. The kitchen will not be used nor will there be anything that is normally shared, such as books. The cleaning regime for the Meeting House and particularly the toilets will be considered with our cleaner this week. They’re will be a one way system operating when we meet indoors, so please follow the guidance of the welcomers. We are not planning to re-open for any other groups before September at the earliest.
We continue to care for each other and keep in touch by phone and email. Please contact Adela or Jackie our Overseers with any concerns.
A group of six volunteers gathered this last week for a gardening retreat. Organised by Quaker Voluntary Action (QVA), they came from as far away as Glasgow and stayed from Wednesday to Sunday. Some slept in the Meeting House others stayed with local Friends.
They worked extremely hard each morning and most afternoons. They pruned overgrown shrubs and cleared nettles, ivy and other persistent weeds. A new herb bed was planted, a new wildflower area created, a leaf-storage area constructed and a spiral meditation walk created out of cobbles. Perhaps the most demanding job was lifting the gravestones and re-laying them over fabric to suppress the weeds.
Among the new plants were cotoneaster, which will provide ground cover, and Hebe to replace one that has died in the drought last year. They also put in the herb area some lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage.
The volunteers shared in Sunday morning Meeting for Worship before returning home. Our heartfelt thanks for their hard work, which has transformed the garden.