The stable which became an Easter Garden

Author: The Revd James Stewart

Published on: 14 December 2021

They are many of us saying this – but it is true: ‘We have tried new things because of the pandemic – and there are some things that we want to keep.’

When it was clear in 2020 that Christmas was going to look quite different, one of our servers, Graham Rowland, with a lifetime of carpentry experience, offered to make us a 6ft high, 6ft wide stable into which we placed an illuminated nativity. The local Town Council in Thorpe St Andrew had arranged a ‘Light-up Thorpe’ initiative to encourage households to light up their houses and we wanted to join in. Our illuminated stable was very popular, and it stayed until Candlemas!

We had got quite used to the stable and we wondered what we could use it for next. With a little bit of ingenuity, we realised we could turn it into an Easter Garden – and so the journey continued: someone painted a board for the sky behind, someone sourced the artificial grass, someone made the three crosses to sit in a green hill (far away) and so on… We could have just obtained the plants for the garden from our local garden centres, but we realised that it was another Covid-19 safe opportunity to offer to our community. We advertised on our social media, in our parish magazine and in our weekly newsletters that we were inviting people to bring potted spring plants and place them in the Easter Garden which was positioned at the front of our churchyard for all to see as people walked to and from the beautiful River Green, to which the church is close. The plants kept arriving through Holy Week and it was a beautiful scene. People have told me that they brought plants in many instances to remember loved ones in this season of resurrection when we remember that Christ gave us all the gift of eternal life.

As the year has gone on we have used the stable to advertise our Summer Fete, our Harvest, Remembrance – this list goes on!

The author...

The Revd James Stewart

Licensed clergy - Incumbent: Rector, Thorpe St Andrew (Norwich) (Benefice)

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