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St Gregorys Bedale

Community - Tranquil Spaces

 

In April 2012 the Rectory land was an impenetrable wilderness covering over an acre of wooded bog. After discussion with Diocesan environmental officers a plan was developed to reclaim the space and create a tranquil series of walkways with locally commissioned sculptures to offer space for worship, reflection, quiet and a place for childrens groups to play and learn.
Groups from church school and scouts along with local volunteers have helped begin the clearing process and created Bug hotels, nesting boxes, hedgehog homes, insect nests, pathways and have begun planting local species to complement the profusion of plants emerging from the ground now that light is available to them.

The space is used for special worship, on easter morn we followed stations of the cross, at Christmas a new recycled nativity was created and childrens groups spend time in activity and praise. The first of the sculptures are being created, an echo chair carved into the large tree stump, a fallen tree bench and the Bedale monk are being carved on site by local chainsaw sculptor Andres Bergs.

For further photos follow this link.
And there's a video taken in March 2015 in our Video Gallery

 

This extract is taken from an article about Bedale in Yorkshire Ridings Magazine, February 2105:

    One of the latest ventures aimed at bringing local people together is an imaginative project in the grounds of Bedale Rectory.   An area of about an acre, which has been unused and untended for many years, is slowly but surely being turned into a space that can be used by the whole community.
     “There are very few semi-wild spaces in the heart of the town,”  the Rev. Ian Robinson, the Rector of Bedale with Burrill, Thornton Watlass and Leeming, who is the driving force behind the enterprise, told me.  “There’s nowhere that’s suitable for quiet meditation and reflection, so I hit upon the idea of creating a community area with seating, a variety of sculptures in different materials created by local artists, wildlife areas and places for children to engage with the natural world,”  he added.
     Following a conversation that he had with Sir John Ropner, a team from nearby Thorp Perrow Arboretum undertook significant structural work including creating a pond and a stumpery. Pathways have been laid, bat boxes and bird boxes put up and there’s a bug hotel.  An old friend of the rector, local chainsaw sculptor Andris Bergs, has created ‘the echo seat’ from the stump of a tree, along with a figure of a standing monk, and a log bench.
    Woodland church services are being held on special occasions, there are plans to create a special Easter garden this spring, and if all goes well there’ll be a formal opening of the garden this summer.


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