A simple service was held, attended by members of the Bishop’s House staff. A short anthem was sung Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (composer Elizabeth Poston), a Bible verse read, and prayers said, as the Bishop placed a cast-iron plaque in the orchard, that had the following words inscribed upon it:
“The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22.2
The orchard was planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, 2022
Bishop Graham said: “It was a joy to dedicate the new orchard of 15 heritage fruit trees at Bishop’s Garden as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy in thanksgiving for the fruitfulness of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and her Christian service to this Nation and Commonwealth.”
The new fruit trees were planted in November 2019, by five members of Norwich School’s Green Group with Bishop Graham and Head Gardener Sam Garland. The trees were planted in the shelter of the garden walls, in an area that was originally a fruit orchard in the 1800s. A pear tree in the centre probably dates to that time.
The young trees are being grown organically and are a mixture of plum, pear and apple with evocative names: Blenheim Orange, Doyenne du Comice and Herefordshire Russett. They co-exist with the wildflower labyrinth and in the spring their blossoms provide welcome nectar for the Bishop’s bees in the nearby hives. A Pershore Purple Plum was also planted – a gift from Bishop Graham’s previous Diocese of Worcester.
Below are the words from the liturgy that was used for the service.
A reading from the book of Revelation Chapter 22
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
The dedication of the orchard
God our creator
By your gift the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise.
As we dedicate this orchard
to remind us of our Queen’s long and loyal service,
fill our hearts with the joy of your salvation
which your Son Jesus Christ won for us on the cross,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.