A Quiet Garden - where wonder is the beginning of prayer'

Rev Philip Broderick demonstrates the hang drum during Quiet Garden launch

Rev Philip Broderick demonstrates the hang drum during Quiet Garden launch

A Quiet Garden was officially opened at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Kentish Town, north London on Wednesday, by Reverend Philip Roderick founder of the Quiet Garden movement.

Designed by Carol Wilcox, with the help of pupils and their parents, the garden includes swirling paths, water features and a cherry tree. Artist Peter Harrington worked with the children on the clay journey of St Patrick and a mosaic tree of life.

After a welcome from headmaster Mr Cranitch, the celebrations began with music from the school recorder groups and choir. Rev Philip played a magical tune on a huge hang drum before sharing some thoughts about God and nature.

“Every time Jesus did something important he would always go away somewhere quiet to pray, before and afterwards” Rev Philip told the children. “God is everywhere. People’s creativity in making a garden mirrors God’s creativity. Some time I want you to tiptoe up to a flower and look at it and say ‘wow’. When we do that our hearts open. Wonder is the beginning of prayer.”

After a ceremonial flower planting, and a blessing from parish priest Fr Tom Forde, the choir, lead by Francis Novello sang once again before the children quietly walked around the garden and returned to their classes.

The garden has been part funded by Camden local authority and the Philological Foundation as well as by the school’s parents and friends association.

Margaret Harvey, chair of governers, said she hoped the garden will be a haven of peace and tranquillity in the midst busy urban environment of Kentish Town. It will be open during the holidays and at weekends to other community groups by arrangement.

For more information about the Quiet Garden movement see: www.quietgarden.co.uk/

Share this story