Author: Hazel Southam, 17 October 2023
‘Calming’, ‘serene’ and ‘tranquil’ – that’s how children at Romsey Abbey School in Hampshire have described their newly-opened Psalm 23 garden.
The school was inspired by Bible Society’s Psalm 23 Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2021, and has spent the last two years planning and fundraising for the garden, which will be open to 200 children.
It was officially opened recently by the Bishop of Southampton, Rt Revd Debbie Sellin. In opening prayers, she prayed that the garden would be a place where the children could 'be calm and remember’ who God was and pray to him.
The garden was a disused area of the school grounds. Today, it has paths running round established trees, stone seating, a short flowing stream, chime bars, dead hedges, a fire pit, a prayer shelter, and – as a reminder of God’s shepherding care – a shepherd’s crook.
Forest school lessons will be held in the Psalm 23 garden, and it will also be open to children to play in during lunch and play time.
Headteacher Mark Harris said, ‘Two years ago we saw Bible Society’s garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and thought we would like to have our own Psalm 23 garden.
‘It was a big undertaking, but I’m really excited about it. It’s been well worth it. The children have seen it and already love it.’
Many local organisations and charities joined parents in helping to create the garden.
Pictures: Diocese of Winchester/Jordan Shepherd