On Sunday 26th April at 1pm, the congregation of St Mark’s Church and various Community Groups will be undertaking the second phase of the Community Orchard planting. Eleven fruit trees are now in bud, and it is time to plant the wildflowers that will grow beneath them. Everyone is invited to come along with their spades and trowels to plant some of the 400 wildflower plants that are going to help create a beautiful garden for all in Upper Hale. The project has been funded thanks to a generous donation of £1000 from the Farnham Institute.
Paul Sowden, a member of St Mark’s Church who heads up the project said, “We have a vision to make the churchyard a place of beauty to be enjoyed by all in the local community. Already people have commented that the bulbs that we planted at the same time as the trees have offered them a place of peace and tranquillity.”
John Ely, a local resident who engages in many community projects in the area said, “It takes commitment over a number of years to develop an orchard and garden, like to one at St Mark’s. I believe that it is important that we work together as a community to create these spaces. We can already see the benefits of such a project.”
The Reverend Lesley Crawley commented, “Yesterday someone told me that they look for excuses to pop out of their house and go to Tesco’s so that they can walk through the churchyard at St Mark’s. I laughed. It struck me that the extravagant beauty of the flowers is like a form of grace – God’s love for us – just given freely and extravagantly. But of course there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes. If anyone would like to join the gardening club then they should contact me – they don’t need to have a faith, a spade will do… in fact we can provide the spade!”