‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’ (Mark 6:31)
On the 24th May 2011, Iain was found by his mother at the flat he had just moved into; sadly he had died. He was just 23 years old.
Iain was a very popular young man, and his many friends came down to the church to light candles, or just to sit quietly and think about their loss. His family was devastated. Iain was brought into the church the evening before his funeral so that friends and family could hold a quiet vigil before their last goodbye the following day.
On the day of his funeral everyone was asked to wear lime green as that was Iain’s favourite colour and it was a moving sight to see so many young people dressed in such a bright colour.
The idea of a quiet garden was born following the service, and involved many people both churchgoers and non church members who have worked together to build, what I am sure everyone agrees, is a beautiful lasting memorial garden which, although dedicated to Iain’s memory, is for anyone who is in need of a place to seek peace and tranquilty away from the hustle and bustle of life.
The day of the opening – 18th August 2013 – was a celebration of a new life. Iain’s friends Ben and Shirley’s daughter Faye Mary was baptised in the church. Many who attended the funeral of Iain attended the Baptism of Faye.
The opening of the garden was attended by Bishop Geoff of Lancaster and took the form of a short prayerful service led by Rev Anne Morris, ending with a communal blessing:
We offer you this quiet garden,
Bless all who have made it,
All who will tend it
All who will come to sit in it.
May it be a place of hope,
A place of quietness,
A place where your love will be known.