Bishop of Horsham blesses peace garden in Shipley school

JPCT 130712 Bishop of Horsham Mark Sowerby opening the new Peace Garden at Shipley CofE Primary School. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 130712 Bishop of Horsham Mark Sowerby opening the new Peace Garden at Shipley CofE Primary School. Photo by Derek Martin
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Creation was at the centre of a special service recently - the official blessing and opening of a new Peace Garden, by Mark Sowerby Bishop of Horsham.

The quiet area with rainbow colours, benches and flowers and decked with prayer flags, was both the idea and creation of pupils at St Mary’s CofE School at Shipley, and was finally completed with the installation of two-pupil made stained glass ‘windows’ featuring the six days of ‘creation’.

Headteacher Caitriona Bull said: “The children looked at other peace gardens and thought a lot of them were quite dull, so they wanted theirs to be right and colourful.

“They felt ‘church-style’ stained glass windows was the perfect solution.”

Pupils designed the windows showing light and dark, land, sea and sky and animals and people. Then, helped by glass artist Chris Brown of Hove, they recreated the designs by sticking crushed, chipped or rods of coloured glass onto clear glass ‘jigsaw’ pieces.

These were fired and then leaded together into panels before being framed and mounted in the garden.

Bishop Mark blessed the garden and commended the efforts of the pupils in creating such a beautiful and peaceful area for quiet time or chatting to friends. Individual pupils had written their own prayer or special thoughts on each of the flags strung between the surrounding trees.

Bishop Mark said: “Every time the wind blows it is as if those prayers and thoughts in the minds of you boys and girls go back to God again.”

Staff, parents, governors and friends donned wellies and joined pupils for the short open-air service and official tape cutting on the school field.