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Canon Julie’s story

Author: Andy Knight, 7 February 2020


‘When I arrived in 2011 this was a mass of brambles and holly. There was just nothing. The gardening project is amazing. We have used recycled wood from the trees that came down in the storms. The benches have been made from trees that came down in the storms, by a local carpenter. 

‘An outdoor space enables people to flourish because they feel closer to God through nature. 

‘St James’ is a magnificent building, but the real work begins when we leave. If we can use the outside to engage with our community, what could be better? We have outdoor services and we have outdoor parties. We have concerts. 

‘We have rabbits, roe and muntjac deer and cats, all sorts of bird life including red kites, crows and blackbirds, every type of bird imaginable. There are lots of insects, lots of butterflies and moths and there are badger setts, and foxes by the dozen. 

‘When we do our pet services, we get horses, ponies, tortoises, and hedgehogs too.

‘Nature matters to God just as much as we do and the Church has forgotten it for far too long, so it’s important that we help nature to flourish. If nature flourishes, then people flourish too, even if they don’t realise it.’


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