The Quiet Garden Trust
|Motto||"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31)|
|Founder||Reverend Philip Roderick|
|Founder Director: The Revd Philip D Roderick|
Administrator: Mary-Anne Hall
Quiet Garden Co-ordinator: Mollie Robinson
The Quiet Garden Trust is a non-profit organisation which encourages the provision of Quiet Gardens where people can set aside time for contemplation, prayer and renewal. The opening of the gardens is controlled by the respective owners, and the Trust plays a co-ordinating and resourcing role. There are currently about three hundred Quiet Gardens in eighteen countries, and the idea has grown to encompass quiet spaces in churches, schools, hospitals and prisons. The gardens are open to people of all faiths, for stillness and reflection.
History and founder
The Quiet Garden Movement started in 1992, founded by Revd Philip Roderick, then the Director of the Chiltern Christian Training Programme in the Diocese of Oxford. The first Quiet Garden was a domestic garden in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, belonging to Geoffrey Cooper, who was The Daily Telegraph’s aviation correspondent.
Roderick is an Anglican priest, a percussionist, an educator and a writer who worked as a trainer in theology and spirituality for both laity and clergy. Originally from South Wales, he was brought up a Methodist, and read Philosophy and English at Swansea University. Many threads are woven into his spiritual experience, including meditation, the monastic tradition and contact with other religions. He was ordained and became a university chaplain, and it was after visiting Christian communities in India and America during a sabbatical in 1992 that he realised the significance in the life of Jesus of withdrawing to a quiet place to spend time in solitude. It was this that led him to found the Quiet Garden Movement later that year.
The Quiet Garden Movement has spread over the past twenty years to encompass about three hundred gardens in many parts of the world, not only in European countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Finland, Austria, Switzerland and Cyprus, but also in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Haiti, Canada and the USA.
The gardens vary widely in size, location and character. Most cater for a broad public, but some were created to serve a particular community, such as the Quiet Garden on the edge of the Nsambya Hospital in Kampala, Uganda for AIDS patients and carers. Polesworth Abbey in Warwickshire has created a sensory garden with fragrant herbal plants, designed in consultation with both sighted and partially sighted people, and a Quiet Prison Garden in HM Prison Bedford (now closed) benefited both prisoners and staff.
Others are simply private gardens which people have decided to share. For example, Michael and Janet Chapman frequently open their three-acre garden just outside London. “We are lucky enough to have this lovely garden. To hog it all to ourselves would be like keeping an Old Master tucked away in the basement,” says Michael.
Ecumenism and diversity
The Quiet Garden Movement transcends normal doctrinal barriers and denominational divisions. Although Roderick is an Anglican clergyman, the concept has been embraced by a diverse range of faiths.
A Quaker group in Beverley, Yorkshire celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by creating a Quiet Garden next to their Friends meeting house. The first Orthodox Quiet Garden was set up in the grounds of the Orthodox Church in Sifton, Manitoba, Canada. Other fellowships that have established Quiet Gardens include Alcester Baptist Church, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Jose, California, and a Roman Catholic church in Stainforth, South Yorkshire that reclaimed derelict land with the help of prisoners from a nearby prison. There is also a Quiet Garden at the English Benedictine Monastery of Worth Abbey in Crawley, West Sussex.
In the words of Philip Roderick, "Openness to God in unexpected places is what it is all about. God is all over the place, we only have to open our ears and our eyes."
The patrons of the Trust are:
- Richard Foster, Christian theologian, speaker and author
- Gerard W. Hughes, S.J., writer and speaker on spirituality, peace and justice issues
- Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Assistant Bishop, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain
- Margaret Magdalene Evening, writer and spiritual director
- The Most Revd Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales
- The Rt Revd John Pritchard, Anglican Bishop of Oxford
- Professor Sir Ghillean Prance, British botanist and ecologist, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Esther de Waal, international speaker and writer, historian and scholar of Benedictine and Celtic spirituality
- Sarah Meyrick (3 January 2007). "Come into the garden, Lord". Church Times. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.
- "1038528 - The Quiet Garden Trust". The Charity Commission. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012.
- Kate Tebby (27 June 2008). "BBC – Escape to a quiet garden". BBC. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012.
- Christopher Middleton (27 April 2012). "Quiet gardens: time to sit and stare". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012.
- "Keynote Speakers". Gardens & Grace at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Retrieved 17 Oct 2012.
- Susan Bowden-Pickstock (11 July 2009). Quiet Gardens: The Roots of Faith?. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-84706-341-0. Retrieved 12 Oct 2012.
- "Quiet Garden Locations". The Quiet Garden Trust. 7 Mar 2011. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.
- Philip D. Roderick (2007-08-13). "I Am Here, Now" (PDF). Retrieved 16 Oct 2012.
- "Quiet Garden Trust celebrates 15 years... and 300 gardens". ARC – Alliance of Religions and Conservation. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 15 Oct 2012.
- "Making a noise about peace and quiet". Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). 29 April 2008. Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 17 Oct 2012.
- "BBC News - Quaker group celebrate 50 years with new quiet garden". BBC. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012.
- "The Quiet Garden at Sifton, Manitoba". Archdiocese of Canada - OCA. 14 Jan 2008. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012.
- "Quiet Garden - Alcester Baptist Church". alcesterbaptist.org.uk. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 16 Oct 2012.
- "Immanuel Quiet Garden, San Jose, U.S.A." (PDF). Quiet Places (32): 3. 2012. Retrieved 17 Oct 2012.
- Fr. Patrick Fludder O.S.B. "Worth Abbey Open Cloister – The Quiet Garden". Worth Abbey. Retrieved 17 Oct 2012.
- "Patrons of the Quiet Garden Movement". The Quiet Garden Trust. 7 Mar 2011. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.
- "Gardens of the Heart – The Quiet Garden Movement Celebrates twenty years". The Congregational Federation. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.