In 2000 the seeds of the garden project were sown. A Work for the Dole Team, from Mission Australia, cleared the over-grown grounds. Much of the work, in both design and building, has been done by parishioners. Maintenance is carried out by a Gardening Team.
The stone foundations are the only reminder of the original temporary church and verger’s cottage. This was a perfect site for the formal monastery garden. This was dedicated in November 2001 by Bishop Phillip Newell in memory of a former rector, Fr Bill Paton.
The memorial stone has a crucifix set into it which was crafted by Pru Quarmby of Bibiani Studios and this three-line verse by local writer Wal Eastman:
God shouts at me sometimes you know,
(O yes, it does sound rather odd),
but when life panics me, he shouts,
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
Together they set out our hopes for all those who spend time with us in the garden.
The garden has various little nooks where people can enjoy the sun. One such area was provided in memory of a former parish councillor, David Ripper. Another “room” is a cutting garden which helps in the provision of some fresh flowers for the decoration of the church.
Vaucluse Gardens Retirement Village is built along the back of our property. They took responsibility for landscaping the back section of our property. We now have a “Quiet Garden” where all the “rooms” are linked by a path which it totally wheel-chair accessible.
The Rose Garden is in the process of construction. We needed to wait until the restoration of Old Mill Cottages was complete. This memorial garden will be the resting place for ashes of the departed whose names will be recorded in a Memorial Book on display in the church. It will also be an important “station” in the Prayer Walk with the Saints which will be created by the planting of a series of rose bushes, the installation of an angel carved in stone and the erection of a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi.
The writer of Psalm 27 wrote: “One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” We value the privilege of “beholding the fair beauty of the Lord” in creation, of being reminded that Christians are called to be in the world but not of it, to come apart and rest awhile, to find the Lord, not in the earthquake or fire, but in the still, small voice.
All Saints seeks to offer places and opportunities for people to “come apart and rest awhile”. It seeks to be a place of prayer, silence and reflection, a place where individuals can learn about the Christian life and explore their spirituality; to be a place where God’s loving presence is experienced and God’s healing power found.
Into this area of our community life we are blessed to welcome members of the community at large who come “to sit and rest awhile”: young mothers bring their children to play; others take a detour to soak in the quiet. We have been able to create a park in the section of South Hobart that has no such facility. It is without gates, without fences and we value the community’s presence with us.